Manager Derek McInnes's ambitions rest with Aberdeen for now

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes celebrates a 2-1 Premiership win over Rangers at Ibrox at the tail end of last season

Derek McInnes admitted ambitions may take him beyond Aberdeen some day but that his fondness for the Dons and a sense of unfinished work prevented him switching to Championship Sunderland.

Manager McInnes and assistant boss Tony Docherty rejected a move south earlier in June, despite Aberdeen and the Black Cats agreeing a compensation figure.

"I had lots to consider but what's clear is I always felt there was work to be done here," McInnes told RedTV.

"I love the club, I love working here."

And the 45-year-old added: "I'm really ambitious and keen to push myself and test myself.

"Some opportunities might come around in the future but the opportunity to keep working here was the biggest factor."

McInnes promised that he and the Dons hierarchy would try to "make the signings that helps maintain our standards and push on" after the loss of several key players over the summer, including captain Ryan Jack,Jonny Hayes, who he admits "will be a miss", Ash Taylor, Peter Pawlett and Niall McGinn.

Ash Taylor, Jonny Hayes and Peter Pawlett
Aberdeen will line up this season without Ash Taylor, Jonny Hayes and Peter Pawlett but Derek McInnes promises new faces at Pittodrie

"I think reshaping the squad is not such a bad thing," he said.

"Losing players needn't have a huge impact on us. (It's) something we've not been used to, and that consistency has helped us, but hopefully with the good players we've already got, added to the new players, it will seem seamless."

Aberdeen failed to convince Celtic to sell Ryan Christie to them but the player is at least back on another loan deal, this time for an entire season.

"We tried hard to get Ryan here on a permanent for loads of reasons," said the manager.

"Celtic said that he wasn't for sale and that Ryan had a future with them.

"They recognised that his loan last season was good for them and Ryan. If he can replicate some of the form that he showed and give us even a bit more he'll be a fantastic signing. He's a brilliant boy.

"He brings you that knack of goals and I'm delighted to get the opportunity to work with him."

Greg Tansey and Graeme Shinnie
New signing Greg Tansey and Graeme Shinnie will be team-mates in the coming season

Aberdeen's other new recruit is midfielder Greg Tansey from Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

McInnes said of the 28-year-old Englishman: "There's no doubting the quality that Greg possesses - his set play delivery, which is important to us with Niall (McGinn) leaving, his goals from the middle of the park, he's a good age, he handles the ball well, he's technically very competent and a good size. We'll try to get more from him."

And on goalkeeper Joe Lewis, McInnes suggested there would be "no better news" than him signing a new deal until 2020.

The manager said: "He gives us confidence and a high level of goalkeeping. He absolutely loves it here. He's buying a house in the city. His family have settled here."

Aberdeen's last competitive match was the Scottish Cup final in which they were sunk by a stoppage-time Tom Rogic goal for Celtic.

That meant the Dons finished runners-up to the treble winners in all three main competitions last season.

"I see what we can be when I see these cup final days," remarked McInnes. "It was a brilliant reflection on what we are as a club.

"We've got to take the confidence of the performance and the attitude of the support in getting behind the team. We acted like a big club on the day; we are used to being at Hampden.

"It's important we try to generate that atmosphere at Pittodrie. We need more supporters committing to get full value for this team."

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