Aberdeen: No repeat of Luxembourg loss - Kenny McLean

Kenny McLean
Kenny McLean says Aberdeen have learned from the mistakes made in their defeat to Fola Esch

Kenny McLean has assured Aberdeen's supporters there will be no repeat of their embarrassing defeat in Luxembourg when they play FK Ventspils in Latvia.

The Dons take a 3-0 lead into Thursday's second leg of their Europa League qualifying tie.

"I can assure you there won't be a repeat of what happened over there, we have talked about that," McLean said.

"There can be no excuses for that performance though and we all feel we have a point to prove in Latvia."

The result at Pittodrie last week should be enough to guarantee progress to a home tie against either Levski Sofia or Maribor next week.

Their preparations for the second leg have been disrupted though. The Dons flight to Latvia has been delayed by several hours following a problem with their plane. Derek McInnes and his squad returned to Pitoddrie to carry out a training session.

"There is no drama," McInnes said.

"We were not going to train at Ventspils stadium anyway due to the logistics with the hotels there.

"Today is just about turning the legs over so the players will get trained at Pittodrie.

"Hopefully we will get away to Latvia this afternoon and will keep our timings exactly as they were as if we were over there.

"If we can get away from here no later than 2.30pm this afternoon there is no real disruption."

Aberdeen players were forced to return to Pittodrie to train after their flight to Latvia was delayed by several hours

'We want to put things right'

McLean is taking anything for granted after a poor performance on their travels in the previous round nearly saw them knocked out of the competition by SC Fola Esch.

The midfielder admits losing the second leg of that tie to the Luxembourg minnows was a real low point in his time at Pittodrie and they owe it to themselves and the Red Army to make amends in the 3,200 capacity Olimpsikais Stadium.

"I think we have a point to prove over there as well as we let the travelling fans down with our performance in Luxembourg" McLean told BBC Radio Scotland.

"This is a chance to put things right from that point of view and with a good first leg performance to build on I think we can do that.

"We're better prepared for this one as we have three competitive games under our belt and are getting fitter and more match sharp all the time."

Aberdeen are looking to make it to the third round of qualifying for the third successive season since McInnes took charge of the club.

'We are taking nothing for granted'

However, McLean knows that his manager is far from satisfied with that achievement and is determined to take the Dons through to the lucrative group stages of the competition.

He added: "This team wants to keep improving every year as that has always been the manager's aim and the group stage is an obvious target.

"I think the results prove that we are progressing as we have a really strong squad and it is important to get far in Europe for this club.

"Aberdeen have a great history in these competitions and we need to start getting to the group stages but we take nothing for granted.

Aberdeen progressed despite an embarrassing second leg loss to minnows Fola Esch in Luxembourg

"We will make sure we take care of a team that will come at us from the start then think about the third round once we have done that.

"There was a lot of hard work put into the first leg to get the three goal lead but it will be a tough game like the one over in Luxembourg was.

"None of these matches away from home are easy but we know what they can do now and we are confident of getting a good result in the second leg as well."

Ventspils have made it to the group stages in the recent past when they went on to draw with Hertha Berlin, Sporting Lisbon and Heerenveen.

However, their form has been less impressive recently with their only wins coming against teams from Belarus, Luxembourg and the Faroe Islands.

By contrast this is Aberdeen's 126th tie in European football and they have never let a 3-0 first leg lead slip.

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