Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has handed the Dons a pre-cup final boost by signing an extended contract.

McInnes and assistant Tony Docherty both took time out of preparing for Sunday's League Cup final against Inverness to sign two-year extensions.

The pair started at Pittodrie in April last year and their new contracts tie them to the club until the summer of 2017.

Loading article content

McInnes is on the brink of glory in his first full season as Aberdeen bid to secure their first silverware since the 1995-96 season. The Dons also sit second in the Scottish Premiership, following four consecutive bottom-six finishes, and have a William Scottish Cup semi-final against St Johnstone to look forward to.

McInnes told the club's official website: "When Tony and I arrived at Pittodrie we knew we would need time to transform it into our squad. We have demonstrated this season that we are definitely heading in the right direction but we're far from the finished article.

"We both really enjoy working at the club but we are only some way towards what we would like to achieve here. It's great that the board also believes we are doing a decent job and the additional contract allows us time to really plan for the future in terms of developing the squad."

Chairman Stewart Milne has set McInnes the task of bringing long-term success back to Pittodrie.

"It's fantastic that Derek and Tony are committing themselves for the long haul and I'm sure our supporters will be as pleased as everyone at the club is," he said.

"We were convinced from day one that they didn't see the task at the club as being anything other than a long term project and having our management team on long term contracts, in addition to an important nucleus of the playing squad on similar deals, bodes extremely well for the future.

"Derek and Tony have had a major impact on the club since taking over the reins, we are all delighted with the progress to date, but as Derek keeps reminding us, we are very much at the start of a journey. Hopefully Sunday will be another major step along the way, however success to him will not be viewed on the back of one good season, but on being able to sustain the club at the top end of the league, competing at the final stages for trophies, playing in Europe, on a sustained basis, and that is also what everyone associated with the club desires."

The optimism around Pittodrie is evident from the fact that Aberdeen sold out their 40,000-strong ticket allocation for the Celtic Park final, and were only denied more following a decision by police and safety officers.

Milne said: "I think we've all been a bit taken aback by the numbers of people wanting to go to the game and it really does underline the huge level of latent support out there for the club. Almost a complete generation has not experienced what, to supporters of a certain vintage, became a regular occurrence in years gone by and there is a real hunger for success.

"It does give us an opportunity to harness that level of following on a more regular basis although at this moment, while we are confident ahead of what will be a very hard game, we have achieved nothing yet."

Aberdeen failed in a bid to secure tickets in the upper Lisbon Lions stand, above the Inverness fans.

Milne said: "Naturally, in an ideal world we would want every single fan who wanted to attend to be there but, despite ourselves and Inverness Caley Thistle enjoying a good relationship at all levels, the sad fact is that segregation is part and parcel of the modern game and I can completely appreciate why the authorities would not permit Aberdeen supporters to be housed above Caley fans."