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Joe Lewis: 'Scott McKenna will not lose focus'

Joe Lewis: 'Scott McKenna will not lose focus'
© Reuters
Reports broke on Sunday that Nottingham Forest and QPR had seen offers for the Scotland international thrown out.

Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis has no fears over Scott McKenna losing focus following more bids for the defender.

Reports broke on Sunday that Nottingham Forest and QPR had seen offers for the Scotland international thrown out.

The 22-year-old has previously been the subject of approaches from the likes of Hull, Aston Villa and Celtic and Lewis has saluted the club for standing firm.

Lewis said: "Scott's a fantastic player and for a young player he's got a real maturity about him. Physically he's mature and he's got every attribute you could wish for for a centre-half.

"There's no surprise clubs are making bids for him, there's no surprise clubs are interested. It's credit to himself.

"But he's not the sort of lad that will get his head turned. Things don't tend to faze him. He's got a good head on his shoulders.

"For as long as he's at Aberdeen Football Club we will enjoy him and from a selfish point of view I hope he stays but obviously the rest of it is out of my hands.

"Hopefully Aberdeen, should he go, will demand a strong fee for him, which I'm sure they will."

Dons boss Derek McInnes cannot afford to lose another defender after seeing Ash Taylor limp off with a hamstring problem during last week's 1-1 Europa League first-leg draw against Chikhura Sachkhere in Georgia, on top of the absence of Michael Devlin and Greg Leigh.

Aberdeen bounced back from the early injury and a penalty award against them to set themselves up well for Thursday's return leg.

Lewis said: "It's the first time I have played an away leg first since I've been at the club and this is my fourth season.

"I think sometimes that's an advantage. Rather than trying not to concede that away goal, you can go there and be on the front foot, and getting that away goal is really important.

"We felt like we were the better team and in control of the game. I felt it was a soft penalty so we were probably unfortunate not to win the game.

"Coming back with 1-1 puts us in a strong position and it's in our hands to go through to the next round.

"It was a good experience for the young lads involved.

"Sometimes you don't realise it at the time, but from my experiences and disappointments we have had in Europe, at the time you are gutted – but looking back it helps you learn going forward."

Aberdeen hope to face Rijeka in the next round and Rangers' Croatia full-back Borna Barisic has been quoted in the media in his homeland as saying the Dons have been weakened over the summer.

Lewis said: "I don't know how well he knows our new players but certainly I feel we are really exciting going forward.

"The new players have got a lot of energy and hopefully we can build some clean sheets.

"I feel if we can be strong defensively, we have plenty of goals in us. Comments from outside don't really bother me or anyone at the football club.

"We know what we have got to do this season, we have to focus on ourselves, and comments from outside are water off a duck's back."

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Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes pictured on December 2, 2018
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