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Thursday 20 July 2017

Derek McInnes too focused on Scottish Cup final to think about Sunderland link

Derek McInnes has been linked with the vacant Sunderland job
Derek McInnes has been linked with the vacant Sunderland job

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes insists he has been too focused on the William Hill Scottish Cup final to even think about Sunderland's managerial vacancy.

The Dons manager's name has been mentioned in dispatches as the Premier League team consider a replacement for David Moyes, who resigned on Monday.

Former Rangers boss Walter Smith is understood to be advising Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain on the appointment and the 69-year-old publicly backed McInnes when the Ibrox manager's role was vacant earlier this year.

When asked if the role was something that would interest him, McInnes said: "All my interest is tomorrow's game and preparing the team."

The speculation emerged as Aberdeen bid to beat treble-chasing Celtic at Hampden on Saturday after finishing runners-up in the Betfred Cup and Ladbrokes Premiership.

Speaking at a Hampden media conference, McInnes said: "Honestly, it's been no distraction whatsoever.

"It just doesn't play a part to be honest. At this stage of the season a lot of English clubs have finished up and when there are managerial changes and there are players moving on or players going out of contract, there's loads of speculation.

"I've had speculation about my players for three months, players out of contract, players under contract. It's just the nature of the game. It's just speculation and it's had no bearing on our preparation."

The former St Johnstone and Bristol City manager has led Aberdeen to three consecutive runners-up spots in the Premiership as well as the 2014 League Cup - the club's first trophy for 19 years.

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