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McGinn: Dons not ready to challenge Celtic for title


 NIALL McGINN. Photo: Getty Images

NIALL McGINN. Photo: Getty Images

NIALL McGINN. Photo: Getty Images

NIALL McGINN won't be joining the bandwagon tipping Aberdeen to topple Celtic next season.

The former Derry City winger helped the Dons win the League Cup against Inverness Caledonian Thistle and is looking forward to next month's Scottish Cup semi-final against St Johnstone at Ibrox.

If Aberdeen slip up away to Ross County tonight, Celtic can clinch the SPFL crown, with Neil Lennon's side virtually unbackable to make it four in-a-row next season.

The return of silverware to Aberdeen after a 19-year absence has prompted some talk about a genuine challenge for the title next season, but, away from the League Cup celebrations, McGinn believes establishing Derek McInnes' side as the best of the rest is more realistic than overhauling Celtic.

"We're not yet ready to challenge Celtic," McGinn (inset) said.

"We are an upcoming team and winning a trophy like the League Cup confirms the progress that we are making.

"We can't look too far ahead, we need to keep working hard and try to improve and get ahead of clubs like Motherwell and Dundee United before we can look towards Celtic.

"This season, we've lost a couple of games against Hearts and Partick Thistle and we can improve on that.

"However, we've probably been the most consistent team outwith Celtic and that's progress for us. The fans have given us great backing, the atmosphere in the League Cup final was incredible.

"The season is getting down to the nitty gritty. There are trophies being handed out, teams battling to avoid relegation and others pushing for a place in Europe. We're in among that and have lots to play for.

"Winning the League Cup was fantastic for everyone at the club, it gives you a taste for success and we all want to go on and win more.

"Last season, we missed out on the top six. Now, we have a chance of lifting two trophies and finishing second. If we manage that, it will be a big success and give us something to build on."