Derek McInnes may sacrifice performance over results in order to try push Aberdeen to achieve the club’s objectives this season.
Speaking in the final press conference bore Hamilton Accies come to Pittodrie on Saturday, McInnes said he wants the level of performance over the last two games – a win over Kilmarnock and a close run loss to Celtic – to be repeated against the Accies, but has admitted that performance may have to be sacrificed to guarantee the wins needed to close the gap on third placed Hibs.
The league split takes place in two weeks where Aberdeen will play a straight shootout of matches between the rest of the top six to finally determine their league position over the course of the season.
It means both Hibs and Celtic coming back to Pittodrie in the next couple of months but it also means Aberdeen will have to face Rangers who moved within four points of the title after their victory over Livingston last night.
“It is results over performance. For us it is important to find ways to win between now and the end of the season and make it finish the way we want it to finish.”
For the game against the Accies, the Dons will be without long-term absentees Mikey Devlin, Ryan Hedges and Greg Leigh.
Fraser Hornby will also be out however McInnes sounded upbeat about the loan striker’s recovery saying Hornby was feeling good.
“On Fraser’s situation, we will get him reimaged again in the next 10 days to two weeks, he is feeling better than we expected so we might get some good news on that.”
Aberdeen are undefeated in the last three encounters against Hamilton, picking up two wins in the process.
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This weekend could be a chance for the Dons to make up points on the Hibees with Jack Ross’ side playing a tricky away fixture at newly crowned League Cup champions St Johnstone at the same time the Dons kick-off against Hamilton.
McInnes, unsurprisingly, is only concentrating on the Accies and waxed lyrical about a side he says has a wonderful story behind it.
“They are all very hard working, a very committed team. They have a DNA at Hamilton and they let you know they are there every single time you play them.
“They are a brilliant story, they always find big results and it will not phase them one bit coming to Pittodrie to get that victory.”
McInnes covered multiple topics in the press conference including the resumption of the Scottish Cup, a year without crowds and social media after the abuse Florian Kamberi received before the game against Celtic, saying there’s a lot of rubbish written on social media but when it gets to the seriousness of Kamberi’s complaint – a supporter wrote to Kamberi saying he whished the striker was dead – then it has to be taken seriously.
McInnes received special praise for Niall McGinn.
Used sparingly this season, the Northern Irishmen might have more of a say in Aberdeen’s fate in the business end of the campaign having started the last two games on the bounce.
McInnes is continually reminding the players the quality of the team after the recent criticism the Dons came in for their record breaking six game barren goalscoring run.
Aberdeen have a strong core of Scottish talent in Ross McCrorie, Lewis Ferguson and Andrew Considine – we like to think of them as the North-east’s own iconic initialism in the mould of MSN (Messi, Suarez, Neymar) or BBC (Bale, Benzema, Christano). MFC anyone?
On Saturday’s game and the next few weeks McInnes said: “It is results over performance. You want both but that is not always the case. For us it is important to find ways to win between now and the end of the season and make it finish the way we want it to finish.
“What I do want us to do is to take Saturday’s performance at Celtic Park, playing with that bravery in possession, that bravery in winning tackles and putting ourselves forward and putting balls in the box.”
Aberdeen vs Hamilton, Pittodrie, Saturday 6th, KO 3pm.