Steven Smith doubt for Aberdeen semi-final

Rangers' Steven Naismith challenges Aberdeen's Steven Smith
Smith (right) picked up a calf injury during Rangers' victory at Pittodrie

Aberdeen manager Craig Brown is sweating on the fitness of left-back Steven Smith for Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic.

Smith was injured during Wednesday's 1-0 defeat by Rangers at Pittodrie in the Scottish Premier League.

"He got a calf strain and he had to come off," Brown told BBC Scotland.

"We had eight hurt before the game and now we've nine and we are just hoping that one or two might make it for Sunday's game."

Smith still has a chance of making the match at Hampden, especially as Brown's squad is so badly stretched.

"These are the fit players and we have lost one maybe for the game, that's Steven Smith," he said of his squad against Rangers.

"He is not out but has a calf injury that will need to have treatment between now and Sunday."

Brown revealed that Smith's replacement on the night, Clark Robertson, had been withdrawn from a Scotland Under-19 get-together to play in the game and the 18-year-old could now be in the running to play at Hampden.

The Dons manager was able to praise his players, despite them suffering their fourth defeat in a row.

"You can see there is a great appetite to play in the Aberdeen team and there's good enthusiasm, so they will be up for Sunday and it could make or break our season," said Brown.

"We at least deserved a draw tonight, but we've got to credit Rangers.

"They beat St Johnstone 1-0, they beat Hamilton 1-0 and they beat us 1-0.

"They know how to win football matches and that's how you win championships."

Brown lamented his side's inability to score while praising the spectacular winner from Nikica Jelavic.

"We hit the post tonight and hit the post three times on Saturday," he said.

"We're making chances and not taking them and I felt that the goal was a bit harsh on us.

"Because Maguire had just been penalised for backing in up at that end and I felt that Jelavic did the same, backed in and blocked the centre-half.

"But it was a wonderful overhead kick, so good credit to him for that."

Brown added a cheeky aside about veteran Rangers defender David Weir.

"I thought David Weir was absolutely outstanding," said the Dons boss.

"We've got good strikers and they are hard to play against and, as well as playing an outstanding game, I thought he refereed the game exceptionally well too.

"He was advising the referee on every occasion and I mean that in the nicest possible way."

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