Aberdeen: Derek McInnes ignores Rangers speculation "sideshow"

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes and striker Adam Rooney
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says the speculation linking him with Rangers is not affecting his players

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says speculation linking him with Rangers is nothing more than a "sideshow".

The Ibrox side visit Pittodrie on Sunday, having beaten the Dons 3-0 in Glasgow on Wednesday.

Rangers remain without a manager following the sacking of Pedro Caixinha and McInnes is among the favourites to take over.

But the 46-year-old said on Friday: "All the talk is for others, we'll just concentrate on the job."

That job is attempting to restore a six-point lead over third-placed Rangers in the Scottish Premiership table by beating the side currently under the caretaker charge of Graeme Murty.

At Rangers' annual general meeting on Thursday, chairman Dave King told the club's shareholders that the shortlisted candidates for the manager's post at Ibrox were currently in jobs and that was why recruiting a new boss was taking time.

Carlos Pena celebrates
Carlos Pena scored Rangers' second goal against Aberdeen, with James Tavernier scoring a double

That did nothing to quell speculation that McInnes was at the top of that shortlist - even though he distanced himself publically from the job last week.

The Dons manager is adamant, however, that the situation is not affecting his team, who are second in the table.

"We are professionals, we just try and get on with the job and look at the next opponent," McInnes added.

"It's always about the game, anything else is a sideshow, it's for everybody else to talk about. We have a poor record as a club down at Ibrox, but we did expect better. Now we have an opportunity to get smiles back on supporters' faces and to get the players feeling better about themselves.

"The intention for us is to respond. Nobody is moping about feeling sorry for themselves, there's an honesty within the team that we can do things better. It's not just down to the manager or the players, it's a collective responsibility when we win and a collective responsibility when we don't.

"I think the need or desire to win the next game is always there when you lose a game, but we're well aware of the fixture and the importance of the fixture when you play teams around you.

"It is important to us we're sitting second in the league and we want to try and stay as close to Celtic as possible. We also want to make sure we don't give too much encouragement to the teams behind us, so obviously with Rangers beating us it closes that gap, but we have an opportunity to get that back to what it was with a win on Sunday.''

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