Derek McInnes wrong to liken Celtic match to Rangers win

By David Walton

April 10, 2019

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is wrong to compare matches with Rangers to this Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic.

McInnes’ men come into the game on Sunday having won three of their six visits to Glasgow this season. This, as expected, has instilled some real confidence and belief in the Pittodrie outfit.

But, in saying that, all three wins came against a Rangers side sitting 11 points behind Celtic. In terms of games against Celtic in Glasgow this season, Aberdeen have been beaten twice and drawn one.

Despite that, McInnes still looks back to matches against Rangers for inspiration. Speaking in the Daily Record, the Dons boss had this to say.

Derek McInnes has won three times against Rangers this season, but none against Celtic (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

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“I always feel in these types of games that it’s important to let the opposition know you’re in their face. An Aberdeen team should always have that confidence to go and play.

“In the league cup semi against Rangers the supporters were outnumbered, but let us know we were there. The intention when we enter the competition is to win it and now there’s only four teams left.

“We overcame that hurdle at Ibrox and we showed we can deal with these types of games. It’s exciting for supporters, players and staff.”

McInnes should know by now we’re a different kettle of fish

McInnes has been in charge throughout Celtic’s charge to a potential treble treble. In fact, he’s often been the victim of morale-sapping defeats against the Parkhead side. Be it in cup finals or Premiership defeats, McInnes has only won one of his last 15 against the Hoops.

To look at matches against Rangers for inspiration is pretty meaningless. Celtic offer much more of an attacking threat than Rangers do, with many of their forward players talismanic against the Dons.

Derek McInnes has been a picture of failure against Celtic in recent years (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The idea of getting into Celtic’s face must be a new one from McInnes too. In matches against the Hoops, we’re often in control with little pressure from Aberdeen. With Sam Cosgrove likely to be up top on Sunday, Celtic will likely be around to pass it around him with ease.

Aberdeen are also coming into Sunday’s match without captain Graeme Shinnie. His protection of the Dons’ back four is a big blow for them, and McInnes lacks a natural replacement in his squad. So if he was to come and attack Celtic, his men could easily be more vulnerable to the counter without Shinnie in there.

Aberdeen have proven this season they can get one over Rangers. Not once have they been able to prove they can beat Celtic, however. Trying to compare Rangers to us is irrelevant, and it shows in the stats.

Then again, McInnes has to inspire his troops in some way. Looking into previous fixtures against Celtic – it’s understandable why he may not want to point to them.