Woodman has not secured goalie’s jersey says Aberdeen manager McInnes

Aberdeen goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.

Dons boss Derek McInnes today insisted the No1 jersey is still up for grabs despite starting Newcastle’s Freddie Woodman in the 3-0 defeat of Hamilton.

Aberdeen made the most of Rangers’ weekend defeat to move six points clear of the Ibrox club in second place.

With Celtic also losing the Reds reduced the deficit on the league leaders to eight points.

Under-20 World Cup-winning keeper Woodman was handed a first start just days after signing a transfer deadline day loan deal until the summer.

McInnes admits being dropped was “harsh” on keeper Danny Rogers who had started the previous two games – both victories.

However, McInnes insists that does not mean the Newcastle stopper will get the nod with No1 Joe Lewis out for up to three months after knee surgery.

The manager admitted the starting slot against Dundee United in the Scottish Cup on Sunday is still up for grabs.

He said: “I spoke to both keepers and told them Freddie was going to play.

“But that doesn’t automatically assume that Freddie has got the jersey.

“It was harsh on Danny.

“But the rationale behind the decision was that we had a look at Danny in the last two games and he handled that well.

“I wanted to have a look at Freddie knowing we have a lot of important games coming up.

“Now I have another decision to make for this weekend because both lads have done themselves no harm.

“On the evidence of the last three games what I have is two keepers who can push and challenge each other until Joe comes back.”

Aberdeen extended their winning streak to three games and secured a first clean sheet since the Premiership shut down.

McInnes said: “It was an uncomplicated game for Freddie and he acquitted himself well.

“Freddie had a couple of crosses to deal with and passbacks on a difficult surface but his performance was fine.

“His communication was good with the back lot, very much the same as Danny has been in the last couple of games.

“There was a calmness to his performance for someone so young.”

Defender Andy Considine netted either side of half time with Northern Ireland international Niall McGinn also on target.

It was a positive weekend for the Dons as they extended the gap on Rangers and reduced the deficit on Celtic.

McInnes said: “It is important that we don’t look too much at the league table now but we would rather be there than not.

“We have picked up an important nine points in the last three games which is the sort of run we have had in the past so we shouldn’t be too surprised.

“We will not look too much at other people.

“Going into the game we were on the same points as we were last year at this stage of the season.

“We just want to be pleased with our own game.”