Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has backed Connor McLennan to shine now that the focus is on the wide man following injuries to Niall McGinn and Gary Mackay-steven.

The experienced duo have been ruled out through injury, leaving McLennan as the only natural wide player in a side that typically features two wingers.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 14: Mikael Lustig of Celtic taclkes Connor McLennan of Aberdeen during the Scottish Cup semi-final between Aberdeen and Celtic at Hampden Park on April 14, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

McInnes thinks however that the 19-year-old will cope fine with the added pressure when they face Kilmarnock this weekend.

“Throughout my time here I’ve always set-up with two wide players,” McInnes told the Press and Journal.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 18: Connor McLennan of Aberdeen celebrating his goal to make it 4-0 Aberdeen at Pittodrie Stadium on December 18, 2018 in Aberdeen, Scotland.

(Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

“It has been that way for the past six years. Niall and Gary are two key players for us and with Scott Wright on loan at Dundee, we’re left with one recognised wide player now in Connor McLennan so the onus will be on him now but he can handle it.”

The Dons are back in league action on Saturday following the defeat by Celtic in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup at Hampden.

18th December 2018, Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football, Aberdeen versus Dundee; Connor McLennan of Aberdeen takes on Cammy Kerr of Dundee

(photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

McInnes’ side face Kilmarnock with the Rugby Park side ahead of the Dons on goal difference in the chase for a Europa League spot.

McLennan has made 25 appearances for the Reds so far this season, scoring four times and contributing six assists, and will be absolutely vital to the Dons over the final five games of the season.

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