Aberdeen boss McInnes wants to see more firepower against Kilmarnock

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes.

Aberdeen were today challenged to regain their killer instinct to shoot down Kilmarnock.

Boss Derek McInnes was left frustrated at the lack of cutting edge in the recent 0-0 stalemate with Hearts at Murrayfield.

Despite starting with the much-anticipated strike partnership of Stevie May and Adam Rooney, the Reds failed to find the net for the first time domestically this season.

Still undefeated in the Premiership, the Dons sit level on points with Celtic at the top of the table.

McInnes is determined to keep the heat on the defending champions but needs his attack to deliver against struggling Killie at Pittodrie on Saturday.

He said: “My only criticism of the team is that we should have been more clinical with our shots and crosses against Hearts.

“Hopefully, we can get back to winning ways against Kilmarnock and carry more of a threat for longer periods.

“Against Hearts we were guilty of passing up opportunities and not having enough shots or crosses after working the ball into good areas.

“Despite that it has been a good start for us as we have four wins and a draw in the league and are currently joint top.

“We lick our wounds and go again on Saturday against Kilmarnock.”

The Ayrshire side have taken just one point from their opening five Premiership clashes and also crashed out of the League Cup 5-0 to Celtic.

The Reds will be gunning to get back to winning ways on their return to Pittodrie having played four of their last five games on the road.

Aberdeen’s 100% start to the Premiership campaign ended against a Hearts side desperate to impress new manager Craig Levein.

As well as demanding a more lethal streak on Saturday, the Dons boss will also call for the Reds to be more careful in possession.

He said: “In the first half against Hearts we grabbed the game and showed our confidence and assurance to go to Murrayfield and enjoy playing there.

“We anticipated Hearts being five at the back once we got their team in.

“There was a diamond through the middle from them that was very strong, so there was a lot of congestion in that central area.

“It was important that we used the wider areas of the pitch and we did that.

“With Shay Logan and Ryan Christie on the right-hand side and Graeme Shinnie and Scott Wright on the left, they gave us really good options.

“I reminded the players at half-time of the importance of playing in the wide areas of the pitch. It was important we did not make it a game about physicality through the middle, as that’s where Hearts were strong.

“We controlled proceedings in that first half.

“However, we were guilty at times of giving the ball away towards the end of the first half which allowed Hearts to get a bit of encouragement on the counter-attack.

“The game turned as we gave Hearts encouragement at times by not looking after the ball enough in the second hall.

“Hearts then broke quickly and pounced on any mistakes.

“I made the players aware of the need to look after the ball that bit better.”