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It’s all square in the Europa League after Aberdeen and Burnley played out a 1-1 draw last night and that  left the two managers with positive thoughts as they looked towards the second leg at Burnley next week.

Dons’ boss Derek McInnes said after the game: “For the first competitive game of the season for both teams it was a really competitive game played at a rapid tempo. Credit goes to both teams because you can go through a pre-season and try to replicate competitive football, but nothing gets you ready for it. The game itself was treated with the nature of the way game should be.

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“I thought my players started bright and had some really good moments. They fed off the crowd and we got the first goal deservedly so. We were asking the question and our organisation was very good. I said at half time to the players we needed to be better than we were in the last 15 minutes of the first half and to show a bit more composure. We used maybe more energy than we had to in that first half. Burnley tested our organisation in the second half.

“You see the level of opponent when somebody like Vokes can come onto the pitch and score a goal. They had two strikers up there and started to get more and more territory, so it was harder for us to get up the pitch and have players capable of capitalising on a team sitting deeper. We ran out of legs a bit, but that’s nothing new. When we’ve played in Europe that first game is difficult to sustain the energy levels. We felt last season against Siroki we ran our race after 70 minutes, but over there we were so much better physically because we had the game. I think that game tonight and the strength will be better again and we will be more ready for the second leg. We’re still in the game.

“It’s a cup tie and we’re disappointed not to win the game having got ourselves in front and having had something to hold onto. Nobody can say Burnley didn’t deserve their equaliser. They were asking the question and credit to them second half they moved the ball better than they did in the first half. They got into better areas and I know we defended brilliantly at times. You can see why they lost only five or six games on the road in the Premier League last season. The competitive side of them came out in that second half.

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Sean Dyche, managing in European competition for the first time, said: “It was a bit surreal because you go from pre-season games to games like tonight. It’s still early in pre-season and I’ve never had it before, but I enjoyed the occasion. I enjoyed the atmosphere in the stadium because that made it a real game and both sets of fans played their part.”

We fell behind to a disputed penalty; the Clarets boss said: “It’s a tough one for us at Burnley because as everyone knows we haven’t had a penalty in over a calendar year, so when you see one given like that… I thought it was a big reaction from their player for a tiny contact, but c’est la vie and we can only hope that we start getting some of these that we consider soft.

“The thing is when you are one goal down, they are in a bit of a predicament then. It sounds mad, but they had to decide whether to keep going for another, or sit in. In the end we forced them to camp in with some good play, I thought. We can still get sharper, we know that, but equally it’s still the middle of pre-season and there were a lot of good things. Equally, there were some rusty bits and some of the basics we didn’t do well, especially in front of goal when we’ve created four or five amazing opportunities.

“Overall, we’ve got the draw and an away goal, so I don’t think we are too disappointed, because the performance was good enough to warrant that, if not more. I thought we were knocking on the door for a long time in the second half. We were trying to probe and break down a packed defence and, in the end, Vokesy pulled a really good goal out of the blue. He stayed cautious and focused on the ball and when it dropped it was a great finish.”

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