Dons manager Derek McInnes has praised Scott McKenna for his part in making Aberdeen more solid defensively.
After a 3-0 loss to Motherwell in the League Cup quarter-finals last month, McInnes handed McKenna his opportunity in a league encounter with the Steelmen.
Since then, McKenna has remained in the team for victories against St Johnstone and Hibs.
In all three games he has played, Aberdeen have kept clean sheets.
McInnes has been pleased with his defensive displays in recent matches.
He said: “I thought for too many games this season, even winning performances, we were giving the opposition too much encouragement.
“Although we still found ways to win we weren’t having it as much all our own way as I would have liked in certain games.
“McKenna has certainly played a part in that. It’s only a start for him but we have every confidence he can go on and get better and better.”
McInnes was again pleased with the 20-year-old centre-back in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Easter Road.
McKenna helped keep a Hibs attack led by Anthony Stokes quiet.
McInnes believes McKenna will continue to improve as he comes up against different types of striker.
He added: “He’s done very well, that was the first time he has come up against a different type of striker (in Stokes).
“When we played against Motherwell he was up against Louis Moult and Ryan Bowman which is quite straightforward in terms of the ball coming forward quickly.
“Against St Johnstone in Steven MacLean and Graham Cummins, ball coming forward he deals with that.
“A busy number 10 in Dylan McGeough, Stokes coming and working you short and playing in those little half-positions asks the question of you but I thought he dealt with that very well.
“I think he, Kari Arnason and Anthony O’Connor, have been quite pivotal in nullifying the attacking threat of the opposition.”
With no match this weekend due to Rangers’ involvement in the League Cup semi-finals, the Dons are preparing to face Celtic a week today.
With a long training period ahead of that clash McInnes knows the importance of making sure there is an edge to their training to build up to facing the Hoops.
He said: “We need to try to really fine-tune our training, keep that edge to our play.
“It’s a bit stop-start this season, it seems to be more than only nine league games in, a couple of international breaks, no game this week.
“So we’ll try to keep some sort of sense of edge to our training because we will certainly need that going into the game against Celtic.”