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Getting The Balance Right
Derek McInnes has four games to see his players in real action to help him decide who will be part of the 2013-14 Aberdeen squad
Derek McInnes is in a difficult position as he chases the twin objectives of assessing his squad while also looking to finish as high up the league as possible to secure more prize money. Aberdeen currently can be found in eighth place in the SPL, behind Kilmarnock on goal difference, following their goalless draw with Hibs in their new manager's first game in charge. Even if the Dons managed to be the best of the bottom six it is unlikely that McInnes' budget will be increased as he prepares for next season as he knows finances are tight in Scottish football in general. However, he needs to understand what playing resources he has to hand to inform decisions on who should be part of the Pittodrie squad this summer.McInnes, who takes charge of his first game at Pittodrie when Kilmarnock visit tomorrow, said: "We want seventh place. I think I know my budget for next season - that was regardless of whether we finished top six or bottom six. But we obviously feel that responsibility to finish as high as possible. Every penny is important, as it is at other clubs. You debate in your mind the importance of winning the next game and the importance of having a look at players who are out of contract and blooding youngsters. Hopefully over the course of the next four games we can get the balance of that right. Results are important but I think the most important part of it, when decisions need to be made, that we have a balanced view of that and be more confident making these decisions."One player who will be top of the manager's 'wanted on trip' list will be Niall McGinn, whose 20 goals in his first season with Aberdeen secured him a place on the PFA Scotland player of the year awards shortlist. McInnes said: "Nial McGinn is a player I have admired for a while. I tried to sign him in the past. Nobody expected him to contribute the way he has in terms of his goal tally this season. His all-round play has been excellent too but that alone got him his nomination and that says a lot about him, that everybody has recognised what he has done."
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