Kenny McLean: Aberdeen midfielder wants to excel in final season at Pittodrie

Kenny McLean scores a penalty against Ross County
Kenny McLean scored his third goal of the season in Aberdeen's recent win over Ross County

Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean is eager to make his last season at Pittodrie a successful one.

The Scotland cap is out of contract at the end of the season and Dons boss Derek McInnes said last month the 25-year-old intends to leave.

"I'm not looking too far ahead. It's a massive season for myself.

"I want to do as much as I can with Aberdeen and that's my full focus so I'll go back in on Monday and work as hard as I can."

McLean joined Aberdeen from St Mirren in 2015, having been on the bench for the Buddies in their 2013 Scottish League Cup final win over Hearts.

He started both of Aberdeen's cup final appearances in last season's League Cup and Scottish Cup, the Dons losing to Celtic on both occasions.

Aberdeen have already been knocked out of this season's League Cup but are second behind reigning Premiership champions Celtic with top-flight clubs entering the Scottish Cup in early 2018.

"I thought long and hard about it and I think a fresh challenge will be good for me at the end of the season," McLean said of his impending departure from Pittodrie.

"But right now it's at the back of my mind. It's put to one side."

Kenny McLean
McLean played the full 90 minutes in Scotland's midweek loss to the Dutch

McLean was on home turf on Thursday evening as he won his second Scotland cap in the 1-0 friendly defeat by Netherlands at Pittodrie.

He was one of two current Aberdeen players in the starting line-up, the first time two Dons had featured in the same Scotland side since 2006, although Ryan Christie is on loan from Celtic.

There were four players from the champions, while Hibernian's John McGinn also started, plus Hearts' centre-back Christophe Berra, with Rangers' Ryan Jack among the debutants.

"There is absolutely talent across the Scottish league," added McLean. "There's plenty of Scottish boys playing down the road as well that have got so much quality, but there is more quality in this league than people give credit for. I think we showed that against a top-quality Dutch side.

"It was a good night's work. A disappointing result, we always wanted to win, friendly or not, but it was a good workout against a very good team. We created plenty of chances and should have got something from the game, but it was great to be involved in.

"It was a new squad, most of the boys hadn't played together, but I thought we were excellent. One lapse in concentration and a team like that will punish you, but it's something we will learn from."

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