Man Utd’s James Wilson gave Dons everything but goal at Easter Road

James Wilson in action for Aberdeen
James Wilson in action for Aberdeen

Dons boss Derek McInnes insists on-loan Manchester United striker James Wilson delivered everything needed at Easter Road – apart from goals.

And the Pittodrie gaffer emphasised to the 23-year-old not to get hung up on the missed chances in Edinburgh.

Wilson was introduced for the injured Sam Cosgrove after 18 minutes of the 2-1 defeat of Hibs at the weekend.

Aberdeen’s Sam Cosgrove goes down with an injury

Leading scorer Cosgrove suffered a back spasm but McInnes is confident he can be available to face Rangers tomorrow.

Keeper Joe Lewis was also taken off with a gash above his eye but is also expected to be fit.

Centre-forward Wilson has scored three times for the Dons since arriving on loan in the summer.

Cosgrove had netted 10 in the last 10 games to take his season’s tally up to 12.

McInnes said: “James Wilson had his best game for us.

“I said to him there, don’t be thinking about the missed chances.

“His speed, intelligence and work rate are everything I want from him.

“There is not a striker out there who doesn’t miss chances but his energy and determination to get into those areas really pleased me.”

Hibernian’s Paul Hanlon (L) in action with Aberdeen’s James Wilson

Aberdeen battled back from going a goal behind early on to secure the win and move within two points of second-placed Rangers.

It sets up a mouthwatering clash with the Ibrox club as victory would elevate the Dons above Steven Gerrard’s side.

McInnes also praised his attackers for busting a gut defensively at Easter Road.

He said: “The work rate from the ones at the top – Wilson, May, Stewart, Mackay-Steven and Shinnie when he went a wee bit higher – that intensity at that end of the pitch kept Hibs away from where they could maybe do a bit of damage.

“It was clear we didn’t want to let Hibs enjoy the game and we didn’t let them cause us too many problems.

“We were just finding it more than a challenge for us because we didn’t take those chances.”

On-loan Watford centre-back Tommie Hoban made his first league start for five months.

He had been ruled out following surgery on a shoulder injury sustained in the 1-1 draw at Easter Road last August.

Hibernian’s Oli Shaw (R) in action with Aberdeen’s Tommie Hoban

Hoban came in for injured Scotland cap Scott McKenna, who is out with a hamstring injury.

McInnes said: “Tommie was different class and it was only his second start in a long time.

“He strolled the game and was very influential. Tommie and Andy Considine did well for us.

“Although we have a good record at Easter Road, it has never been anything other than tight games and fiercely competitive.

“For whatever reason I thought that was as comfortable coming to Easter Road as we have been for a while.”