Aberdeen goal glut invaluable in race for second place, says McInnes

Derek McInnes.

Derek McInnes today thanked his players for the goal frenzy that has piled the pressure on to Rangers in the race for second spot in the Scottish Premiership.

Aberdeen’s 7-2 slaughtering of Motherwell took them three points clear of the Gers in the battle to be best of the rest.

The emphatic victory also saw the Dons extend their already superior goal difference, that would keep them ahead of the Gers if the sides finished level on points at the end of the season.

The Dons are on +25, while Rangers are miles behind them on +6.

McInnes said: “The goal difference is impressive, I’m really pleased with that.

“That’s unlikely to be overtaken with 14 league games to go – it’s important, that side of it.

“We have also had a good spread of goals right throughout the squad.

“We had only lost six goals at Pittodrie this season prior to the Motherwell game, which was also terrific.

“There is always a danger if you start looking too far ahead.

“But if you had offered me the points and goals for we have now at the start of the season I would have been delighted.

“We still have 14 very tough league games to play, though.

“We have given ourselves a great opportunity of getting to where we want to be, but we still have to see the job through to the end.

“We’ve got to keep our shoulder to the wheel and make sure we keep picking up as many points as we can.”

The Dons travel to Kilmarnock on Sunday looking to pile more pressure on to the Gers when they play Dundee later that afternoon.

The Reds will do so with their confidence flying after the way they ripped Motherwell apart.

McInnes said: “It was great to watch. We could have scored even more goals than we did.

“You take all sorts of pleasure out of winning games.

“Some are a bit harder to win and you also come through some when you haven’t played well.

“You are still satisfied because you have ended up with the three points.

“But I reckon everyone with an Aberdeen persuasion couldn’t help being pleased with what we did to Motherwell.

“The level of performance, individually and as a team, was as high as it could possibly be.

“We got on top of Motherwell right from the start.

“We had passed up a couple of opportunities before Jonny Hayes scored our first goal in the second minute.

“Once we scored and we were up and running we were really clinical with our work.

“You could dwell on the fact we lost a couple of goals from set-plays, which we were annoyed about.

“But there were far too many positives in our performance to make me want to do that.”

McInnes was delighted with the contribution made by on-loan midfielder Ryan Christie.

He made his first start in place of Graeme Shinnie, pictured, who was suspended and instead acted as a summariser for Red TV as the Dons blew away the Steelmen.

Christie scored a stunner and was also a driving force in the heart of the Aberdeen midfield.

McInnes confessed he now has a welcome selection headache ahead of Sunday’s visit to Kilmarnock, which Shinnie is available for.

“I’ve told Graeme he might be free to work for Red TV again at Rugby Park!” said McInnes.

“It’s a happy problem, though.

“Graeme has probably been our best player throughout the season. His suspension meant I had to change the team for the first time in a while.

“Ryan then showed how eager he has been to get more involved.

“It shows the strength of our squad when people are coming in and making the sort of impact Ryan did.”