McInnes urges dismayed Dons fans to attend noon semi-final in numbers

Derek McInnes has urged supporters to rally round his Aberdeen side when they march on Glasgow for next month’s Betfred Cup semi-final.

Dons chiefs reacted with “dismay” when they were informed their last-four showdown with Rangers will kick off at noon on Sunday, October 28.

That early start time was imposed by the Scottish Professional Football League, which announced Hampden Park would stage both semis on the same day as a solution to the scheduling nightmare caused by both Rangers and Celtic’s Europa League involvement.

The Dons fear the midday timing will put off fans from travelling south but McInnes has pleaded with his side’s followers to get to Glasgow any way they can and roar his side onto victory.

He said: “I don’t think we are going to get a perfect scenario. The fact is our supporters are going to have to travel to Glasgow anyway, which is always the case when we get to semis and finals and we are well used to that.

“But I just feel find it really unfair. For them to try and get there for an early kick-off just makes it all the more problematic.

“I’m not surprised because it seems to be the way time and time again. Any requests or complaints we have about the situation don’t seem to be effective.

“When the semi-final comes around, I’m just hoping that there is a real solidarity between our club and the supporters that they do get down there and we find ways to get them there.

“Whether that’s getting into some negotiations with the train companies and obviously loads of buses will be on the road, we want to get as many Aberdeen supporters there, because it is a special day.

“It’s one step away from getting to a cup final and we need everybody on board that we can. I’m hoping everyone, while there first reaction might be to say stuff it, we are not going, and have some sort of retaliation towards the league.

“But it’s important we don’t do ourselves in, it’s important we go there strong, together with a huge support and try to get the result on the day. But I totally understand the frustration and anger towards the decision.”

While the scheduling of next month’s semi is a frustration for McInnes, he could not be happier with the way things have gone on the pitch over the past week.

His side backed up last weekend’s Ladbrokes Premiership win over Motherwell with victory over Hibernian on penalties after their Betfred Cup quarter-final thriller went all the way.

Now McInnes hopes his side can make it a dream hat-trick of triumphs by shooting down Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday.

“It’s been a good week up until now – a brilliant week would be us getting a result at Celtic Park,” he declared.

“We’re still searching for those perfect performances but we’re working towards that.

“We won last time out at Celtic Park so we know what can be done.

“A lot’s been made of Celtic’s start to the season and that goes with the territory when big clubs don’t win games but it’s very early on in the season for people to be writing folk off.

“Celtic are still the team to beat with the manager who has done it time and time again, the players who have done the same and a lot of the questioning of them has been a bit premature.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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