Dons boss Derek McInnes believes Gary Mackay-Steven’s performance against Hibs was his best so far for Aberdeen.
Summer signing Mackay-Steven scored the only goal in a tight game at Easter Road.
The 1-0 win means the Reds remain level on points with Premiership leaders Celtic, who have a superior goal difference.
Mackay-Steven has struggled to find his best form since arriving at Pittodrie from the Hoops but on Saturday he produced a superb display.
When manager McInnes was asked if that was the winger’s best performance for the Dons, he said: “By a long way, to be honest.
“I think it has been a bit stop-start for him. I mentioned when we signed players in the summer that we were picking up the pieces with some of the players.
“They’ve not had a lot of football in recent years, they get regimented into being training players and not being important, Gary is one of them, Stevie May is another and Greg Stewart (has had) a year without football. Stevie May, two years almost without kicking a ball because of injury and not getting selected.
“But they are worth persevering with.
“It pleases me that we have still been winning games and getting to where we are while still getting these boys up and running.
“Gary played with a freshness, enthusiasm and an energy, he was a constant threat when he controlled the ball up from minute one.
“Yes, he tired but he will feel better about himself coming off and being part of a winning performance.
“I’m really pleased for Gary on a personal level.
“I said prior to the game he was playing because of how he has trained this week.
“He had one or two little niggles and the international break came at a good time for him.
“I wanted a ball carrier, I wanted more pace in the team for this game, somebody to carry that threat in the wider areas and how he trained made me pick him.
“I’m pleased for him that he’s managed to have a huge part in helping us win the game.”
McInnes was also pleased with the all-round performance of his team as they kept a third consecutive clean sheet to hold on to the points.
He added: “Any time you get a winning performance at Easter Road, you’ve got to be pleased. We did a lot of things well.
“I thought it was a very even game, it was fiercely contested between both boxes.
“I thought Hibs were good and had moments in the game that asked the question but I thought we managed to see that threat off.
“The goal we scored was of a real quality and separated the teams.
“I think that quality won us the game, the passes, the weight of the pass from Kenny (McLean), the timing of the run and the finish from Gary was excellent.
“He was unlucky with the opportunity just prior to that to get our noses in front.
“He wasn’t put off making a similar type of run and I think he gets a reward for his efforts.
“I think from thereonin having something to hold on to, we wanted to still try to carry a threat.
“I thought we could have broke on them better, I thought we defended in numbers and defended a wee bit deeper than I wanted to.
“I think you’ve got to credit Hibs. Neil (Lennon) has thrown different things at us, stretching us with two wide players, Swanson in the 10, two strikers, Hanlon going up at the death.
“You’ve got to expect to deal with that, I thought by and large we dealt with that up to the box. When the ball came in the box we got our head on things, Joe Lewis has not really had too much to do in essence.
“When you come to Hibs and the amount of good players they’ve got you’re going to have to defend well.
“I thought we did, it’s a third clean sheet in a row, we’ve got to be pleased with that.
“When you’ve got players that can produce a bit of quality like Gary has, you always feel you have a chance to win it.”