Derek McInnes: International break at the perfect time for Aberdeen

Derek McInnes hopes this week’s international break will allow his bruised and battered squad to regroup.

McInnes has also revealed that Scott McKenna, who has established himself at the heart of Alex McLeish’s Scotland defence, is a real doubt for his country.

The 22-year-old defender played in thes 1-1 draw against Livingston with heavy strapping on his right thing, and McInnes feels it’s unlikely he’ll travel with the national squad.

“There’s a number of factors going against him,” said the Dons boss. “He wasn’t fully fit but with Andrew Considine failing a fitness test this morning with his calf, he had to go in. He’ll be a doubt for the Scotland game.

“I’ll speak to Alex tonight and we’ll assess him. If he does travel, I’m not sure he’ll be fit for that first game. The tightness of the thigh, the travelling, the astroturf pitch. I wouldn’t want to rule him out – I’m not a medical expert.

“We need to make a decision between us and Scotland whether he travels.

“I need to get Greg Stewart back. We’re going to have to get him shut down for the next 7-10 days so he can come back at full pelt. We’ve pulled Connor McLennan out of the Under-21 squad as he’s got a knee issue but is making himself available for games.

“The break comes at a good time for us, there’ll be eight games to go and plenty to play for. We aim to improve our home form to make it the kind of season we want it to be.”

Livingston head coach Gary Holt is also looking forward to the break for his players, and insists he will learn from mistakes made at the last such interval.

“It’s good for us. We’re learning from it and the players are learning from it. We’ve learned from maybe giving them too much time off last time.

“You grow as a team and a unit. The players agree things didn’t go right and they agree with it. Everything will be geared towards playing Hibs on the Friday night.

“We didn’t have a game for two weeks and we gave them four days off. They won’t be getting that this time – they’ll be getting nothing!”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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