Cheers for McInnes and jeers for Gers as Reds get back on right road with victory at Dens Park

Derek McInnes at full time

A day after knocking back Rangers, boss Derek McInnes engineered a win that jumped the Dons over the Ibrox side into second in the Premiership.

It piled the pressure on the troubled Glasgow outfit to try to regain that position when they face Ross County today.

But it will have been the rejection of the Ibrox club by McInnes just 24 hours earlier that will have really hit home in Govan.

How big an impact McInnes’ decision has on the battle of the sides to be Celtic’s main challengers this season remains to be seen.

McInnes clearly believes the Dons are Scotland’s second force, and now the players have to back him up by proving it.

Aberdeen bounced back from back-to-back defeats to Rangers, and a return of just four points from 15, by returning to winning ways.

The Reds move three points clear of Rangers, albeit potentially only for less than 24 hours.

Rangers were clearly rocked by McInnes’ rejection and released a petulant, embarrassing statement on the club’s official website.

It was an attempt to pass the buck and change the narrative of a situation that will leave Rangers supporters both bemused and angry.

The Red Army had their say on the matter with a fantastic banner emblazoned with Concomitant You Reds’ – a pop at the Ibrox statement. In it, Rangers claimed they backed McInnes’ decision to knock them back.

It stated: “We endorse that position because moving to a massive club like Rangers is a big step with concomitant risk”.

A baffling response after chasing the Dons boss for six weeks and finally making their need to appoint him very public on Tuesday.

It had been an anxious 48 hours for the Dons fans since Rangers made an official approach to talk to McInnes on Tuesday around 6pm.

That was immediately knocked back by Pittodrie boss Stewart Milne.

However, McInnes still, as he was perfectly entitled to, took time to contemplate the Rangers position.

Some Dons fans had issued concerns on social media that McInnes would even consider Rangers.

However, the 46-year-old confirmed one of the reasons he remained at Pittodrie was because he ‘wasn’t prepared to tarnish relationships I’ve built’.

It was abundantly clear the strong bond he had built with the Red Army had not been tarnished even before the ball was kicked.

McInnes was the last person to emerge from the tunnel at Dens Park and was greeted by a standing ovation and cheers from the 2,043-strong travelling Red Army

If anything, that connection is likely to become even stronger after knocking back the club’s biggest rivals.

There were two changes to the starting 11 that lost 2-1 to Rangers, the game many expected to be McInnes’ last in the Dons dugout.

Striker Stevie May was ruled out with an ankle injury sustained in a shocking challenge from Ryan Jack in that defeat.

Winger Scott Wright dropped to the bench with Ryan Christie returning from suspension.

Teenager Frank Ross came in for his first Aberdeen start, reward for his sublime free-kick goal in the 2-1 loss to Rangers.

Aberdeen had won the last seven Premiership meetings between the sides with their previous visit to Dens Park an emphatic 7-0 victory in March.

That was the latest in a run of 16 straight top-flight meetings where Aberdeen had not lost to Dundee.

Aberdeen made their intentions clear from the start they aimed to extend that run as skipper Graeme Shinnie flashed a 25-yard drive wide in the third minute.

In the 11th minute Andy Considine latched on to a corner kick but his 12-yard effort was easily saved.

Dundee were denied in the 16th minute when Joe Lewis got down to block a powerful drive from Roarie Deacon from just inside the box.

A fantastic run by Christie from deep in midfield saw him slalom past three challenges to open up space for a shot.

However, his 12 yard effort flew over the bar.

A superb save from Lewis frustrated Dundee as he brilliantly tipped a 20-yard drive from Deacon over the bar.

The Reds went ahead in the 48th minute when Kenny McLean fired in a poor delivery which fell to the feet of Scott McKENNA who poked it beyond Parish.

Lewis came to the rescue again in the 57th minute when he brilliantly saved a downward header from Sofien Moussa as he tipped it wide.

The Dons threatened in the 82nd minute when Shinnie broke on to an Adam Rooney through ball but keeper Parish saved his shot.

Dundee pushed forward looking to salvage an equaliser with keeper Parish up for an injury-time corner but could not break through.

Advantage Aberdeen. Now over to Rangers who have confirmed they will not appoint a new manager until 2018.

ABERDEEN: Lewis, Logan, Considine, O’Connor, McKenna, Shinnie, Ross, McLean, Christie, Stewart, Rooney.

SUBS: Arnason (for Ross 46),

SUBS NOT USED: Rogers, Harvie, Reynolds, Ball, Wright, Maynard.

DUNDEE: Parish, Kerr, Kamara, Moussa, O’Hara, Aurtenetxe, McGowan, El Bakhtaoui, Deacon, Hendry, Meekings.

SUBS: Allan (for McGowan 61), Leitch-Smith (for Deacon 80),

SUBS NOT USED: Ferrie, Holt, O’Dea, Curran, Waddell.

Referee: Nick Walsh.

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