Dundee boss expects strong Aberdeen despite Europa League disappointment

Dundee boss James McPake does not believe that Aberdeen’s Europa League disappointment will have any bearing on Sunday’s Betfred Cup second round clash.

Derek McInnes’s side lost 2-0 at Pittodrie on Thursday night in their 2nd leg Europa League qualifier against Croatian side Rijeka. That followed a 2-0 away defeat in the first leg, however despite the obvious disappointment that Aberdeen will be feeling, James McPake is expecting a strong test for his Dundee side.

“No real thoughts regarding the Europa League,” he said.

“What I do know is that it is a very strong Aberdeen side that will come down here.

“Del (McInnes) always does well in the cups, he’s got a good record in both.

“It is a game we are looking forward to, but they’ll be strong.”

Sometimes in football facing a team who has just experienced a disappointing result can be the worst time to play them, but McPake doesn’t see that as having any relevance on what his team will come up against.

“To me it doesn’t make a difference,” he said.

“Regardless whether they went through or went out we would still be treating this game as important as it is.

“They’ve won this cup and they’ve got to a couple of Scottish Cup finals.

“Knowing Del, the cups are always very important to him.

“Nothing that happened last night changes anything that is going to happen on Sunday.”

In team news, Craig Curran has trained fully and is available for selection. The striker has requested to leave Dens Park and while there is no update on any potential departure, the manager believes he can call on Curran should he decide.

“What I will say, and I’ll keep going on record to say, is that Craig Curran has been absolutely fantastic,” he said.

“I get his circumstances and why he needs to go home, but as a professional and as someone to work with he has been great.

Craig Curran © Grant McKenzie/Discovery Sports Media

“So, until I am told otherwise then he is a valuable member of my squad.

“It is what it is, and I accept that.

“I’ve been in the same position as Craig’s position where it would have been helpful for me to get home from Coventry at one point and that happened.

“I get where Craig’s head is at the minute, but in terms of the way he trains and how he goes about his business it is brilliant to watch and brilliant to work with.”

The game against Aberdeen at Dens Park kicks off at 3pm this Sunday.

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