Aberdeen: Niall McGinn could miss Dons' Europa start - Craig Brown

By John BarnesBBC Scotland
McGinn celebrates after scoring in Northern Ireland's historic 2-0 win over Ukraine at Euro 2016
McGinn scored for Northern Ireland against Ukraine at Euro 2016

Former Aberdeen manager Craig Brown believes Northern Ireland's progress at Euro 2016 could hinder the Dons' challenge in the Europa League.

Niall McGinn helped Northern Ireland to a 2-0 win over Ukraine but could be unavailable for Aberdeen's European campaign, which starts on 30 June.

"Derek McInnes is aware that Northern Ireland's success could hamper our progress a little," said Brown.

The Dons enter the Europa League at the first qualifying stage.

They will find out their opponents when the draw is made on Monday 20 June.

Brown is confident that McInnes will find a way to compensate if he is forced to do without forward McGinn for the first qualifier.

"I'm sure he's got contingency plans in place if that's the case," said Brown, who managed the Dons from 2010 to 2013.

Craig Brown
Craig Brown wants to see Gordon Strachan pick more Scottish-based players for the national team

"For a long time, for example, last season Peter Pawlett was unfit. Now, if Peter gets himself fit, that's a further challenge in that position that Niall was playing so very well last year.

"I have great faith in our manager and he will unearth someone, albeit temporarily, to replace Niall.

"We just wish Niall all the best and his team-mates - the same for Wales and England."

Lack of Scottish-based players

Northern Ireland's victory over Ukraine kept their hopes of qualifying for the last 16 alive with one group match against Germany still to play.

With the likes of Kilmarnock striker Josh Magennis and Hamilton Academical goalkeeper Michael McGovern appearing at Euro 2016 for Michael O'Neill's side, Brown believes current national coach, Gordon Strachan, should place more faith in players playing in Scotland.

"In the last game we played, there wasn't one player playing in Scotland that started the game, they were all playing in England," Brown commented.

"It was quite surprising to see the starting team against France every player played outwith Scotland.

"We hope that this year Gordon will be so impressed with the standard that he will have to pick players that are playing in Scotland because they'll be doing so well."

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