Aberdeen deserved to progress in Europa League - Derek McInnes

Aberdeen captain Ryan Jack and Adam Rooney leave the field at full-time
There were no celebrations at the final whistle for Aberdeen's players, led by Ryan Jack

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes insists his side deserved to progress to the second qualifying round of the Europa League, despite a dismal display in Luxembourg.

The Dons lost the second leg 1-0 to Fola Esch but won 3-2 on aggregate.

"We were as poor as we've been in a long time tonight, but it was very hot out there with the early kick off.

"I feel as though we owe the supporters for that performance really, they deserve better than that," a frustrated McInnes said.

"But they've seen their team progress to the next round and we aim to get better as we go along. We're better than what we showed tonight.

"We're through because of a really strong second-half performance last week, so while Fola maybe deserved a bit more tonight, I think that we definitely, over the piece, still deserved to go through."

Derek McInnes makes a point to his side during their defeat by Fola Esch
McInnes cut a frustrated figure on the touchline during the Dons' defeat

Aberdeen rarely threatened and fell behind when Samir Hadji took advantage of poor marking from Ash Taylor to race clear and fire beyond goalkeeper Joe Lewis.

It could have been worse for the visitors with Emmanuel Francoise drilling a shot off the inside of the post, but fortunately for the Dons it spun away from goal.

They will face Latvian side Ventspils, who prevailed 4-0 on aggregate against Vikingur of the Faroe Islands, in the second qualifying round, with the first leg at Pittodrie next Thursday, 14 July and the second leg a week later.

'We should be good enough without McGinn'

McInnes opted to rest Niall McGinn, who was given a week's holiday after playing in the first leg last week just days after returning from Euro 2016 with Northern Ireland.

"Niall's a huge player for us," he added. "I've got an obligation to look after him for the whole season.

"We should be good enough to come here without Niall and with a two-goal lead, but there were times in the game when I started to doubt that. Thankfully we'll get him him back for the next round.

"It was a gamble and I don't like gambling but the boy hasn't had a break in three years, so while Niall's importance is clear, it doesn't allow for a below-par performance."

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