Celtic v Aberdeen: Sunderland job no distraction for final, says Derek McInnes


Derek McInnes: Aberdeen boss unfazed by Celtic form
Scottish Cup final: Celtic v Aberdeen
Date: Saturday, 27 May Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Two Scotland from 13:15 BST, BBC Radio Scotland from 14:00 BST and text commentary on the BBC Sport Scotland website

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says attracting the interest of Sunderland has not been a distraction ahead of the Scottish Cup final against Celtic.

The 45-year-old is among those being considered as a replacement for David Moyes after the Black Cats’ relegation.

“It just doesn’t play a part to be honest,” he said before Saturday’s game. “There’s loads of speculation at this stage of the season.”

McInnes would not be drawn on whether he would welcome an approach.

“All my interest is on tomorrow’s game and preparing the team,” he said.

Aberdeen, who finished runners-up to Brendan Rodgers’ side in the Scottish Premiership and lost to the Glasgow side in the League Cup, stand between Celtic and a fourth domestic treble.

McInnes insisted that denying them their first such feat since 2001 was no extra incentive for him and his side.

But he stated: “I think the level of player they have and the performances they’ve produced, anything other than a treble would be disappointing for them.

“I think more Celtic teams should have won the treble in the last few years and, for whatever reason, they haven’t.”

“So, while we put ourselves under pressure to win, we’ve still had a very good season even if we lose tomorrow.

“But we can have a brilliant season – a season to remember – and a special season by winning this tomorrow.”

McInnes backs Ryan Jack to perform despite the midfielder’s plan to leave Aberdeen

“The players are really relaxed and we are going into the game taking confidence from the performances we’ve had of late,” he said of a side that have won their last six games away from Pittodrie.

“I feel we couldn’t be more ready.”

However, McInnes recognised the task ahead of his players if they are to end Celtic’s season-long unbeaten domestic run.

“We probably need a near-perfect performance from the majority,” he said.

Aberdeen have lost their last six games against Celtic, but McInnes stressed: “I thoroughly believe there is a performance in us that can beat them.

“I think we have got closer to them in the last couple of games.”

Midfielder Ryan Jack was stripped of the captaincy before the final after deciding to leave the club this summer at the end of his current contract.

However, McInnes stressed that he will have no qualms about fielding the 25-year-old in the final.

“It’s ridiculous to think he wouldn’t be fully committed during tomorrow’s game,” he added.

“He’s an Aberdeen boy and he’d love nothing more in his last game for Aberdeen to be a Scottish Cup winner.

“There are a few in that boat who are moving and hopefully they can finish in a blaze of glory and be a winner at the end of it.”

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