Aberdeen: Speculation won't faze Scott McKenna, says captain Joe Lewis

Aberdeen captain Joe Lewis with Scott McKenna
Aberdeen captain Joe Lewis hopes Scott McKenna (left) will remain at Pittodrie this season

Aberdeen captain Joe Lewis has no worries over Scott McKenna losing focus due to further transfer speculation.

The defender has been recently linked with Nottingham Forest and QPR, while offers from Hull City, Aston Villa and Celtic were turned down last year.

Goalkeeper Lewis says it will take a "strong fee" to land the 22-year-old, who is under contract until 2023.

"Scott's a fantastic player and for a young player he's got a real maturity about him," he said.

"Physically he's mature. He's got every attribute you could wish for for a centre-half so there's no surprise there's clubs making bids for him. It's credit to himself but he's not the sort of lad who would get his head turned.

"Nothing seems to faze him. He's got a good head on his shoulders so as long as he's at the club we'll enjoy him and, from a selfish point of view, I hope he stays.

"Obviously the rest of it is out of my hands but Aberdeen, should he go, will demand a strong fee."

With Ash Taylor joining fellow defenders Michael Devlin and Greg Leigh on the sidelines after last week's 1-1 Europa League qualifying first-leg draw against Chikhura Sachkhere in Georgia, manager Derek McInnes will be reluctant to lose McKenna.

The Dons bounced back from the early injury and a penalty award against them as Sam Cosgrove netted a late spot-kick.

"Coming back with 1-1 puts us in a strong position and it's in our hands to go through," said Lewis of Thursday's second leg at Pittodrie.

"It's the first time I've played an away leg first since I've been at the club in this my fourth season. I think it's an advantage."

Lewis seeks silverware this season

Lewis, who takes over from the departed Graeme Shinnie as skipper, has ambitions of reaching the group stage in the competition as well as domestic cup success.

"I think there's got to be some targets set and we've got to set our sights quite high, certainly silverware," he said.

"Teams are getting stronger but we're getting stronger as well. We've been really close the last three seasons I've been here. We've been to cup finals but just falling short at the last hurdle.

"On a European front the aim has to be the group stages. It's obviously harder and harder to get there these days. You've got eight games to contend with and they only get more difficult as you go. You need to get a bit of luck with draws."

Aberdeen will play Rijeka should they progress to the third round, having beaten the Croatian side in 2015.

"The new players have got a lot of energy and hopefully we can build some clean sheets," added Lewis. "I feel if we can be strong defensively, we have plenty of goals in us."

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