DEREK McINNES said he should have been talking about the performances of new boys Ryan Hedges and Jon Gallagher rather than the late switch-off of his defence which allowed RoPS Rovaniemi to sneak a goal in the 93rd minute that changed the complexion of the first qualifying round of the Europa League tie.

Hard on the heels of signing a new contract to keep him at Pittodrie until 2022, the Aberdeen manager praised his team’s performance, but bemoaned not having wrapped up the first leg before its disastrous conclusion.

“The goal we lost might not have been such a body blow had we taken them [the chances],” he said after their 2-1 victory. “But you can see RoPS are a good side.

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“We worked them well and looked the better side but the goal means this wasn't the result I was looking for.

“If we had taken our chances we could have this wrapped up but we face a difficult game in Finland next week. I'm confident if we take the chances we can go through.

“We gave the ball away but were still in a good position with two midfielders and a back four in place but it was a fantastic pass from Lucas Lingman. I am disappointed we gave the ball away but our use of the ball was very good.

“It is not as if we were caught up the pitch but it was a good pass and a nice finish and you have to praise them for that but ultimately it is a sore one for us.”

McInnes said Craig Bryson, the former Derby County midfielder, who was absent from the Aberdeen side last night, could feature in the return leg although there was concern over using him on the Finnish team’s plastic pitch.

RoPS head coach Pasi Tuutti could hardly hide his delight at grabbing a late goal, fashioned by a wonderful pass to scorer Tommi Jantti from Lingman.

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"We are still in the tie," he said. "The youngsters gave me what I asked for and fought like hell, but Aberdeen were the much better team. They created so many chances but [goalkeeper Antonio] Reguero was marvellous. I stopped counting at six stunning saves.

"We've been on a three-day trip to get here which took some energy away but we are more prepared for the game now. We didn't know so much about them but we know now and will be far better prepared.

"Jantti was waiting for his chance as he has done so well in training, and he took it tonight by getting the goal.”