Derek McInnes: Aberdeen playing with honesty, quality and real desire to succeed

Hearts boss Ian Cathro and Dons manager Derek McInnes after the final whistle.

Derek McInnes says his players are right to be delighted to have matched the winning run of the great Dons side of 1986.

Goals from Shay Logan and Jonny Hayes gave them a 2-0 victory over Hearts in the Premiership.

It extended their winning streak on home soil to nine matches, the first time that has happened since Alex Ferguson was boss 31 years ago.

McInnes said: “The players should be really pleased and proud to have equalled that record.

“It wasn’t the most important thing for us, it was all about just winning another game.

“But the fact we have now equalled what the 1986 team did shows there is a lot of good work being done by everyone at the club.”

McInnes admitted he feels fortunate to be in charge of the first Dons side to emulate Fergie’s legends.

He said: “We are very lucky to have this team. They play with honesty, quality and a real desire to succeed for this club.

“Aberdeen supporters are always keen to look back on good periods in the club’s history.

“Our team, in time, will be regarded very highly.

“It might not always feel that way right now.

“Sometimes it takes the passage of time for people to realise just how good a team was.”

The Dons were worthy winners as they extended their lead over Hearts in the Premiership to a massive 17 points.

McInnes said: “It was a very impressive performance.

“The final scoreline flattered Hearts to be honest but we would have taken 2-0 at the start.

“It’s pleasing to see how committed everyone is, they cannot give any more in terms of their work rate, their intensity and their focus.”

McInnes credited his players for sticking to their game plan to ensure Hearts were forced on to the back foot from the off.

He said: “We spoke about the importance of pressing the game and we were relentless with that.

“It allowed us to play the game at the pace and tempo we wanted.

“It was set up to make sure we could get crosses into the box and we had umpteen of those.

“That wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t winning first headers at the back and turning things over in the middle of the park.

“It’s alright me saying that and demanding that before the game.

“The players are the ones who have to go and do it on the pitch and they did, time and time again.”

Logan’s goal came on what was his 150th appearance for the club, something that also pleased his manager.

McInnes said: “It was well deserved. Shay’s level of performance in those 150 games has been excellent.”

Aberdeen ended the match with 10 men because striker Jayden Stockley was sent off for striking out at Hearts defender Krystian Nowak.

McInnes felt the red card was harsh on the big Englishman.

He said: “There is a foul on Jayden, initially.

“He has tried to shake him off and the defender has maybe made a bit more of it than there was.

“Unfortunately Jayden has fobbed him off with a hand in the face, which could be interpreted as a red card.”

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