Europa League: Derek McInnes confident Aberdeen will prevail

Aberdeen's Niall McGinn celebrates his goal
Niall McGinn gave Aberdeen the lead

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is confident his side can progress to the Europa League second qualifying round following a 1-1 draw with Shkendija.

The Dons were unable to hold on to Niall McGinn's late opener as Hristijan Kirovski equalised soon after.

"Shkendija are a good side," McInnes admitted after the first leg in Skopje, Macedonia.

"I thought they were a good side before the game and I still think that, but I'm always confident about my team."

Aberdeen dominated the first half of the first leg without seriously threatening but then survived second-half pressure either side of McGinn's 79th-minute goal.

"I felt it was a decent performance," said McInnes. "We were comfortable, but the game is very much in the balance.

Blagoja Todorvski congratulates Shkendija scorer Hristijan Kirovski
Substitute Hristijan Kirovski (right) equalised for Shkendija in Skopje

"I always felt we would have to be good over the two games. We have work to do, but we are confident.

"I accept we need a strong performance in the second leg, but I'm always confident with my team."

When asked by the Macedonian media if his side were lucky to come away with a draw, McInnes said: "I think it was an even game.

"We had good chances and the goalkeeper made a very good save at the end.

"The game is still in the balance, there is still work for us to do."

Shkendija were formed to be a focus for ethnic Albanians in Macedonia and McInnes recognised the loyalty of the home support.

"The Shkendija supporters were excellent," he added. "You can see it's a team that play with good passion.

"But, in chances created, I felt we were quite comfortable without bringing a top performance.

"We can improve and we aim to improve next week."

The Dons could be without defender Mark Reynolds for an extended spell after he was withdrawn in the second half with a shoulder injury.

"We're hoping that it doesn't need an operation and pinned, which would keep him out a lot longer," said McInnes.

"It can range from four weeks to 10 to 12 weeks; it's not ideal because he's been a mainstay for us."

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