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Gary Mackay-Steven injury may have caught Aberdeen off guard, says Joe Lewis

Gary Mackay-Steven injury may have caught Aberdeen off guard, says Joe Lewis
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Mackay-Steven was carried off on a stretcher after being knocked unconscious following a clash of heads with Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata.

Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis admitted watching Gary Mackay-Steven in distress might have affected his team when they conceded the only goal in the Betfred Cup final moments later.

Mackay-Steven was carried off on a stretcher after being knocked unconscious following a clash of heads with Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata late in the first half at Hampden.

A bandaged Boyata returned to action just in time to deliver a ball over the top for Ryan Christie to beat Lewis at the second attempt in the fifth minute of first-half injury-time.

"Obviously the injury to Gary, maybe that's caused the switch-off possibly for the run from Ryan for their goal," Lewis said. "So it was really disappointing.

"We have got the best medical staff you could have in a situation like that, so he was in good hands. He's awake now I think. When someone gets a whack like that, it's always worrying.

"As a player on the pitch you have to put it to the back of your mind straight away really. Obviously we wish him a speedy recovery and hope he is back with us soon. There was obviously a game to carry on with and you just have to refocus.

"You never know whether it has or it hasn't (had an impact in the goal), you just need to be switched on even though the 45 minutes is gone.

"However long is played extra you have to be switched on, any time the ball is in play and any time it goes dead.

"I'm not sure if someone has switched off or not gone with their runner, or not tucked round or what happened, but they happened to get their goal in that extra time."

Lewis kept his team in the game with a number of saves, notably a brilliant penalty stop from Scott Sinclair, and Aberdeen pressed hard for an equaliser.

"We had one or two opportunities and balls flashed across the face of goal," he said. "I thought we were always going to be a threat from set-plays and the ball didn't fall for us.

"I think we can take a little bit of pride in our performance and the way we stood up to what they had. But ultimately it doesn't matter, in cup finals it's the result that matters."

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