MX23RW : Thursday, September 24 17:58:38| >> :600:88044:88044:
Jul 18, 2019 at 5pm UK at Keskuskentta
RoPSRovaniemen Palloseura
1-2
Aberdeen
Kada (2')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Cosgrove (27' pen.), Ferguson (90')

Derek McInnes pleased with Aberdeen progress

Derek McInnes pleased with Aberdeen progress
© Reuters
Dons win in Finland.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes hailed his players' character after they shrugged off an early setback to progress in the Europa League qualifiers.

The Dons fell behind inside two minutes against RoPS Rovaniemi in Finland after seeing a two-goal advantage cut in half in the dying seconds of the first leg.

But Sam Cosgrove's first-half penalty and Lewis Ferguson's stoppage-time strike earned a 2-1 win and 4-2 aggregate success.

McInnes told Red TV: "They scored in the last 30 seconds (of the first game) and the first 30 seconds, everything else has been pretty good for me.

"I am finding out a lot about my team, it's a new squad and we are trying to find our feet fitness wise and with the familiarity.

"Last week we should have been out of sight and the tie should have been far more comfortable here.

"The first goal I thought it might have been a foul on (Scott) McKenna and then the shot took a wicked deflection and loops over Joe (Lewis). That happens.

"For such a young team, young boys who probably wouldn't have been in that situation before, it's a big deal for us and a lot of pressure on them to deal with it. And they just dealt with the game. We controlled the game.

"They had their moments and they gambled towards the end, throwing bodies forward, we had to defend deeper and counter-attack. When composure, calmness and good decision-making was needed, we gave it."

McInnes will have summer signings Craig Bryson and Funso Ojo available in his midfield for the second qualifying round against Georgian side Chikhura Sachkhere.

He added: "While we are trying to work towards being at our best, it's good we can still overcome challenges.

"We had 33 shots in the first leg and probably something similar here. We could have made it easier on ourselves by taking the chances we missed but the work from box to box – calmness in possession, use of the ball from the back, is everything I want from my team."

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Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes pictured on December 2, 2018
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