NK Maribor v Aberdeen: Travel delay changes nothing for Derek McInnes

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes is targeting a place in the Europa League play-off round
Europa League third qualifying round: NK Maribor v Aberdeen
Date: Thursday, 4 August Venue: Ljudski vrt, Maribor Kick-off: 19:15 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has played down the level of disruption to the club's Europa League preparations after a second lengthy flight delay.

The squad had been due to depart for Slovenia at 13:30 BST but as a result of an issue with the plane, that has been put back at least three hours.

Aberdeen and NK Maribor are level at 1-1 after the first leg.

"When there's an itinerary there you want to stick to it but it's no drama from our point of view," said McInnes.

A similar travel scenario surrounded the Dons' trip to Latvia in the previous round, when they played Ventspils.

McInnes stressed it would make "no difference" to how they prepare for the third qualifying round match.

"We weren't planning on training at the stadium tonight (Wednesday) anyway," he added.

"We wanted to be a bit more specific and train here this morning so there's no real change from that other than the players will arrive a bit later, we get to the hotel and just go straight in for dinner.

Aberdeen training
The Dons training on Tuesday

"We hoped to be in watching the Celtic game. Hopefully, we can still get to see that and then the plans on Thursday will be as normal so there's not really too much change to our preparation."

The Dons boss also admitted the match paled in significance to the deaths of two young Maribor players in a car accident on Tuesday.

A minute's silence will be held before the match for Damjan Marjanovic and Zoran Baljak.

"You never know how they react to that. In a football sense, it's secondary," said McInnes.

"Firstly it's awful news. Our sympathies go to everyone involved - the club and the families especially - from our club.

"It's not the news you want to hear and regardless of how that affects them, it's just awful.

"You try to put it into perspective with how it would be if it was a 19-year-old and 20-year-old from our club and you start to identify who those players could be and how close they are to the first-team players as well."

Top Stories