Uk news Derek McInnes and Aberdeen seek third place to end European heartbreak PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - The Dons boss has never made it to the competition proper but could have his best chance next season.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Aberdeen finally got back to winning ways on Saturday, scoring their first goal of 2021 in the process. The Dons secured a 1-0 win over Kilmarnock at Pittodrie to keep alive their hopes of finishing third in the Premiership. Manager Derek McInnes has come under pressure in recent weeks as Aberdeen's challenge faltered, with a growing number of fans calling on him to go. Others have stated that the long-serving boss should be afforded time, having continually had his side challenging for trophies and competing in Europe. In this season particularly though the race for third has taken on an even greater significance and McInnes - not to mention his Hibs counterpart Jack Ross - will be only too aware of that. Read More Related Articles Derek McInnes reveals Aberdeen's unique reason for barren run as he salutes strike trio after Kilmarnock win A big hurdle to Scottish sides competing in Europe are the multitude of qualifiers they must navigate before reaching the big time. No club is more aware of that than Aberdeen, who have repeatedly fallen in the qualifiers. Fans can look back to 2007-08's famous group stage campaign in the old UEFA Cup, plus a memorable third round tie with Bayern Munich. Since then though it's been a story of heartbreak for McInnes and his side.
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. Coming up against the likes of Real Sociedad, Sporting and Rijeka proved too much, though Aberdeen fans may rue losses to Kairat Almaty and Apollon Limassol. And while there's still a chance of drawing a big name, finishing third this season would give the Dons a huge chance of reaching the group stage. Even with defeat, the Premiership's improved coefficient plus the new UEFA Conference League mean that finishing in that spot may well guarantee European football up to at least Christmas. In the 2021-22 Europa League the seven domestic cup winners from associations 8–14 will enter at the play-off round.
Scotland is currently ranked in 14th, so the Scottish Cup winners would be just one two-legged tie away from the group stage. And even if a team falls short, the 10 losers from the play-off round go into the group stage of the Conference League, guaranteeing European football up until at least December 9. That's the Scottish Cup winners then - but what if there is no winner? The competition has been suspended since January 11 and there appears little prospect of getting the tournament finished by May 8. Then the team in third place in the Premiership would enter the Europa League play-off round and have that European football guarantee, plus a welcome financial boost in a Covid-hit world.
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