Aberdeen: Derek McInnes wants longer winter break

Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes is calling for a longer winter break

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is calling for Scottish football to take a longer winter break.

Earlier this week, the Scottish Professional Football League announced that there will be a two-week stoppage in January from next season.

"If we're going to do it, let's do it properly," said McInnes. "I think we've just dipped our toes in it; it's not really the outcome we'd have wanted.

"If we're going to do it, it has to be at least three or four weeks."

McInnes does, however, believe the authorities should be praised for trying something different with the new format for the League Cup.

"I think the authorities deserve some sort of credit for trying to come up with something to give it a jag, make it more interesting," he said.

"I think that should be applauded; time will tell if it's going to work, or work better. Hopefully we get a wee bit more from it as a tournament."

Hearts and Motherwell owners, Ann Budge and Les Hutchison respectively, spoke of their surprise at the announcement and its timing.

McInnes, however, says he had been aware of the proposed changes since the beginning of the season.

"There's nothing that's been announced and decided that I wasn't aware of," he said. "We as managers don't need to be privy to everything.

"There were no surprises from that, it is all about timing, and there's maybe a bit of a concern about things getting leaked out before. You've got to respect, it has to be announced at some point; there's no problem for me there."

Aberdeen fans
In February, Aberdeen fans face a Monday trip to Inverness and a Friday journey to Glasgow in the same week

Fixture frenzy

Due to recently-announced television coverage, in February, Aberdeen will face a Monday night clash at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, followed by a Friday night fixture at Partick Thistle the same week.

"I think with Friday night games we've got to try and be as fair to both sets of supporters as possible," he said. "Ideally, there'd be some sort of close proximity between the clubs.

"I'm not against Friday night games, I think they bring something, but there has to be a consideration for the supporters. In those two fixtures, I think a lot of our supporters will find it difficult to get to the games, and that in turn impacts on everything.

"While we accept we have to play when we're told, and for me and the players it's no problem, for the supporters it's not great."

Aberdeen celebrate beating Hearts
Aberdeen defeated Hearts 3-0 when the sides met earlier this season

McInnes hopes to have key duo Ryan Jack and Niall McGinn available for Saturday's Pittodrie battle with Hearts - the sides are separated by just four points in second and third place respectively, while the Jambos have a game in hand.

"Hearts bring a lot to the game, the crowds they bring, and I think they deserve a lot of credit for how they've started this season," added McInnes.

"I think that sometimes newly-promoted teams get that bounce and start the season well - I remember my old St Johnstone team having that when we got promoted - but I think Hearts are more than that.

"They've got good experience in the team, they've got a good thing going there after a lot of trouble and it's good to have them back in the top flight."

Top Stories