Motherwell 3-0 Aberdeen: McInnes bemoans Dons' recruitment

Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes was disappointed with how his team reacted to going a goal down

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes said his main responsibility in Aberdeen's failure to reach the Scottish Cup final had been in recruitment.

The Dons lost 3-0 to Motherwell in Saturday's semi-final.

"I feel myself and staff, we weren't responsible totally for today," said McInnes after the match at Hampden.

"I am responsible at times for the recruitment, maybe putting more faith in certain players to deliver better performances on the bigger stage."

McInnes was without suspended trio Graeme Shinnie, Kenny McLean and Shay Logan as Aberdeen missed out on successive Scottish Cup final appearances.

They also lost to Motherwell in the season's League Cup quarter-finals, having reached the final of that tournament last term.

Curtis Main scores for Motherwell against Aberdeen
Curtis Main fired Motherwell in front but Aberdeen complained about a handball in the build-up

Aberdeen have struggled to take points in meetings with their fellow Premiership top-six sides so far this term.

"We've won our last two semi-finals," McInnes told BBC Scotland. "It's always thrown at us, the mentality side.

"I feel disappointed that we haven't shown more from our recruitment this season and that goes for the ones who were still here as well.

"I know what needs to be done in the summer. Sometimes you don't know until you know about players and that's what we haven't done as well as we normally do. Today the squad was stretched and it shouldn't be that case for a club like Aberdeen.

Motherwell 3-0 Aberdeen: 'The support were deserving of a better performance'

"When we're without two or three key players, as we were today, we should be able to cope better, having a better level of performance without those individuals. I'm responsible for that side of it, not responsible for today's performance. I feel as though others were more responsible for that."

Motherwell's opening goal was controversial, with Richard Tait appearing to use his arm to control a long ball before setting up Curtis Main to score. Ryan Bowman held off Kari Arnason to fire Well's quick second, and Arnason conceded possession to allow Main to run through and score the Steelmen's third in the second half.

"The first goal, we don't deal with the long straight ball," McInnes explained. "Dominic Ball's in maybe a poor position but it's still a handball, it's a free-kick. Tait's used his arm to leverage it into his path for the second phase of the next pass for the goal. Between the five officials, they should get that right. The first goal's always important.

Aberdeen players looking dejected
Aberdeen last won a trophy with the League Cup in 2014

"Where I'm disappointed with my team is the reaction to losing that goal. It's been a wee bit of a pattern in certain games where we lose goal and we lose another goal pretty quickly. There's absolutely no need for it. That becomes for me more mentality.

"The second goal, I thought at the time was a foul on [Kari] Arnason. Having seen it again, I don't think it is. We should deal with that better.

"Two-nil is one of those scorelines where you're still in the game. We make changes, we took a wee gamble, we put [Gary] Mackay-Steven and [Niall] McGinn on - both clearly not quite fit. We had a wee go. We had chances.

"The third goal's clearly a mistake from big Arnie where he should just clear his lines. Any momentum, any build-up of steam we had in the second half quickly evaporated in that moment."

Aberdeen's focus will now return to league business, with the Dons level on points with second-placed Rangers but trailing on goal difference as they seek a fourth straight runners-up finish.

"Of course we want that," added McInnes. "There's still opportunities there for us, it's still in our own hands to go and do that.

"Obviously other teams will be trying to do exactly the same. It's very exciting, but we've got to be more ready and make less mistakes.

"The reason we're actually talking about second is because the level of performances have been decent over the course of the season. We can still do that side of it.

"Sometimes your season can be perceived as what you do through the cups and we're disappointed today. Credit to Motherwell, they did what they're good at. They go into the final and we have to watch."

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