Scottish Cup final: Shinnie 'apt' choice for Aberdeen captain, says McInnes

Ryan Jack and Graeme Shinnie
Ryan Jack is being replaced as Aberdeen captain by Graeme Shinnie

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says it is fitting Graeme Shinnie will captain his side in Saturday's Scottish Cup final against treble-chasing Celtic.

McInnes confirmed versatile Shinnie, 25, will skipper the Dons next season.

Ryan Jack, who has been captain since 2015, is leaving Pittodrie this summer but is available for Saturday's showpiece at Hampden.

"It's to try and take the sting out of the whole situation," McInnes told Aberdeen's RedTV channel.

"There's been far too much focus on Ryan and his situation. Ryan's made the decision to move on. We've absolutely accepted that and we've no problem with that.

"But just to try and be fair on everybody, on Ryan, but especially on the team, it's so important that the focus and the support is on the team.

"Ryan, I spoke to over the last couple of days as well and he accepts the decision that we've made.

"I think we have got players there who would fill that void anyway next season but Graeme was the one for me who will captain the team next season and will therefore take the team out on Saturday."

Midfielder Jack, 25, who has been linked with Rangers, and winger Peter Pawlett, 26, could make their final Dons appearances at Hampden, with Pawlett having agreed to join MK Dons.

"Whatever team's picked, I'd like to think that the Aberdeen supporters will get right behind us and help us try and create our own bit of history - it's too important," explained McInnes, who is bidding to be the first Aberdeen manager to win the Scottish Cup since Alex Smith in 1990.

Derek McInnes and Mark Reynolds
McInnes is pleased defender Mark Reynolds has been called into the Scotland squad

"Any personal opinions, any side issues aren't the most important thing at the minute, it's all about the team and we have got a fully committed squad and we'll have that again on Saturday, regardless of who is playing.

"Ryan has been a fantastic servant of the club and like a few others, it'll be his last time involved with the team at the weekend and we want everybody involved with the team - whether they're staying here next year or they're moving on - to have that winner's medal in their hand at the end of it.

"Nobody gives us any real chance. We put that demand on ourselves. The fact that we're re-visiting Hampden for the fourth time this season will help. We've experienced European games. It's our third cup final in four years for a lot of the players. We've just won at Ibrox [for the first time since 1991] last week.

"All these little experiences that we've had can help play a part but ultimately we're looking for good performances. We need that from the players and we'll try and find a way to make sure we help them become Scottish Cup winners."

Meanwhile, McInnes said it was "a boost" for two of his players - midfielder Kenny McLean and defender Mark Reynolds - to have been called up to Gordon Strachan's Scotland squad for next month's meeting with England.

"Being involved with the national team is very important and so it should be," added McInnes.

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