McInnes Shrugs Off Favourites Tag

Aberdeen head the odds with bookmakers following the semi-final draw, which paired them with St Johnstone.

McInnes is showing signs that he could be the man who can end Aberdeen’s trophy drought this season, and even put some pressure on Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

And the gaffer is quietly optimistic the team can meet the fans' modest targets after witnessing the manner in which they defeated Motherwell Wednesday, despite being down to 10 men for 80 minutes.

“We can’t stop what other people say about us, whether it’s in a positive or a negative way,” said McInnes. “We went a couple of games recently without winning and I felt the criticism was a bit harsh on some of the players.

"I thought that, even when we won a few games back-to-back, the praise is maybe over-the-top as well. We’ve just got to try as professionals to keep working game to game.

“I can understand possibly why we’re favourites but you’ve got Inverness who had a great season last year, St Johnstone who got into Europe, and Hearts who dug out a result the other night when everybody had written them off.

"Any game is going to be a challenge. Someone has to be the favourites so if people are saying that it’s us, then we just need to deal with that.

“I’ve not been in the job that long and you’re always learning about your players. It’s probably too early to say we’re there yet.

"There are a lot of challenges ahead. But the character, mental strength and toughness needed to grind out results was there the other night."