Aberdeen: Scott McKenna extends Pittodrie contract 'to kick on'

Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna
Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna was the subject of three rejected bids from Hull City in January

Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna says he has "a lot to learn in the game" after signing a contract extension with the club.

McKenna, who was the subject of three rejected bids from Hull City in January, will remain at Pittodrie until 2023, having agreed improved terms.

"Football is all about looking forward and not looking backwards," McKenna told RedTV.

"I cannot relax and need to keep working hard so I can kick on."

McKenna has established himself as a first-team regular this season, following loan spells at Ayr United and Alloa Athletic.

Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna and manager Derek McInnes
Scott McKenna praised Derek McInnes for the way he has managed his progression into the first team

The 21-year-old, who has captained the Scotland Under-19 and Under-21 sides, could also find himself selected in Alex McLeish's first Scotland squad on Monday, for friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary later in March.

His Pittodrie manager, Derek McInnes, says the player can become a mainstay of the side for many years to come.

"It's fantastic news for a brilliant young man and for everyone at the club," McInnes said.

"Scott's earned this improved contract through his strong performances and he's been a pleasure to work with since day one.

"I'm looking forward to Scott being part of a strong and successful Aberdeen team going forward."

Scotland under-21 captain Scott McKenna against Ukraine under-21s
McKenna (right) has captained Scotland at Under-19 and Under-21 level

McKenna said it took only one week from contract extension talks beginning for the deal to be agreed and signed.

He hopes his experience will spur on other young players at the club to progress from the academy to the first-team squad.

"The manager has always been brilliant with me, ever since I came in as a 16-year-old," McKenna said.

"He has looked after me very well. When I play in the first team, he does not put too much pressure on me. He lets me go out and do my job. There is a lot to look forward to.

"There are quite a number of AFC Youth Academy players on the fringes of the first-team squad, so hopefully they can make the breakthrough like myself."

Former Aberdeen captain Willie Miller says McKenna should be called up for the national team.

"He's not potential now - it's actuality - he's performing at a high level and taking everything in his stride," Miller said.

"He's taking responsibility and doing an absolutely wonderful job. It will be good for him to develop and become an even better centre-back.

"I'm sure in future the time will come when he will come down south because he's the type that will attract teams from England. But hopefully at that time the club can make a bit of money and not the peanuts that they've been talking about.

"Alex McLeish would be wise to consider him (in Monday's Scotland squad). John Souttar at Hearts is another one who's been performing at a very high level. We've been searching for centre-backs for years now and now you've got two staring you in the face. Alex will be considering both these players, if not for these games, for the future."

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