Aberdeen happy to swerve Celtic and draw Hibs in Cup semi-final

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was relieved to avoid favourites Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals after his team were instead paired with holders Hibs.
Derek McInnesDerek McInnes
Derek McInnes

The Dons kept alive their hopes of winning the competition for the first time since 1990 by defeating Partick Thistle 1-0 thanks to a Graeme Shinnie goal at Pittodrie.

McInnes said: “It is a good draw and I think Hibs will see it exactly the same way as we do.

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“If we are all being honest, I think the three other teams would have wanted to avoid Celtic (who will play Rangers) because they are the strongest team at the minute.

“From that point of view we are pleased but it is nothing against Hibs and I am sure Neil Lennon will be as pleased as ourselves.

“I think when you get to a semi-final, you expect a tough opponent and that is exactly what we are getting with the experience of their manager and the experience of them having already won the cup and being holders. It will be a very close game I am sure but we just need to make sure we go to Hampden in good form.”

Shinnie’s goal as half-time approached separated the sides in what was a scrappy quarter-final.

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The Dons boss felt his team deserved the victory for controlling the majority of the match and restricting their opponents throughout.

McInnes said: “It was hard-fought and we expected it to be tough but I thought we deserved to win the game.

“The first goal was always going to be important, especially in a cup tie, against a team that do not concede too many goals and we do not concede many either.

“We wanted to be a positive as we could and that was why we started with two strikers and two wingers because we wanted to go and ask questions of Partick.

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“It was not always pretty but there is no doubt that we deserve to be in the semi-final.”

The result ended a four-match winning run for Partick Thistle, who failed to muster too many openings, although Abdul Osman squandered a chance in stoppage time to force a replay.

Jags manager Alan Archibald said: “I thought we started well and we looked lively enough in the fiirst 10 minutes but we fell out of the game after that and Aberdeen came on strong.

“We looked a bit jaded and leggy and it looked as if it was one game too many for one or two of our players.

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“We got that chance at the end when we pushed bodies forward. We created one or two chances the last time we were here and you have got to take them.

“We did not take it but we probably did not deserve it. I don’t think we did enough because we did not pass the ball well, even though the pitch was not the best.”

“We have got to do more.”