Derek McInnes has given an Aberdeen injury update and praise to Bristol City loanee Marley Watkins as the Dons look towards Thursday’s Europa League match.
The Pittodrie side have bounced back from a week of postponements due to two positive COVID-19 tests with consecutive wins over St Johnstone and Livingston, winning the latter 2-1.
Goals in the second half from Lewis Ferguson and Scott Wright secured another big win for McInnes as the pressure on his team and the club begins to ease. They have another big game on Thursday night, facing NSI Runavik in the first round of Europa League qualifying.
The team from Faroe Islands thrashed Welsh outfit Barry Town 5-1 last week to set a date with Aberdeen. The home side will be clear favourites, but McInnes will want to make sure his team get the job done comfortably.
He’s provided an update on the fitness of some of his key players ahead of this game, praising the capture of Watkins from Bristol City. Signing from Bristol just a day before the Livi match, he turned in a great shift up front against the Lions, McInnes believing he could be smart business on a short-term loan.
“Six points out of six it gives us encouragement for the season ahead,” McInnes said (Aberdeen). “The squad is getting stronger, men are coming back which helps us. Marley was exactly the type of striker that we wanted, he is the type that can play with the likes of Cosgrove, Main and Edmondson. Getting him in was a great bit of business.
“Scott McKenna was sick at half time. I think he will be okay for Tuesday’s training. We wanted to get Hoban back there, but he had a bit of tightness in his thigh and we thought 45 minutes would put him at risk. We put McCrorie down one so thankfully Scott is okay as is Tommie and I thought Ross was excellent.
“Niall took a knock against St Johnstone. He was still pretty sore and tender on Saturday morning, so we ruled him out. He is getting scanned tomorrow. We are not anticipating too much going on there, but we are hoping that settles for Thursday’s game. Niall has always been a key player for us especially in-home games in Europe, so we are keen to get him back for that one.
“Bryson felt his calf in the warmup. We are in danger of some of the boys who have not been involved and not training, we are maybe in danger of over training them this week. Craig felt a bit of tightness in his calf. I don’t think it will keep him out of Thursday’s game.
“Niall is the only one who would be a doubt for Thursday.”