Aberdeen still underdogs

Aberdeen players celebrating

Aberdeen beat Celtic 2-1 at Pittodrie

Derek McInnes insists “nobody” in Scottish football would bank on his Aberdeen side winning the Premiership after they cut Celtic’s lead.

The Dons beat Ronny Deila’s side 2-1 and now sit three points off the reigning champions.

“I get asked this all the time but none of you actually really believe it,” replied McInnes when asked if there was now a real title race.

“I think you all want it but nobody really believes it.”

It was Aberdeen’s second home win over Celtic this season after four defeats by Deila’s men last term.

McInnes praised Aberdeen’s “energy” against Celtic

“You ask everybody that’s involved in football in Scotland and nobody would put money on Aberdeen winning the league,” McInnes said.

“I feel I’ve got a team that can win more often than not. We’ve done that now for two-and-a-half years and hopefully we can continue to do that for the next 14 games, just go and win as many as we can.

“Last season, when we didn’t beat Celtic, that had a big bearing of what people were saying. We let them get away from us.

“It was a good win tonight and I know that it’s the same three points Saturday [against St Johnstone]. We’ve exerted a lot energy tonight and we’ve got to make sure we’re prepared.

“The atmosphere was terrific. The supporters made it a special night for us and the players never let them down either.”

‘Worthy winners’

Jonny Hayes’ long-range strike and a close-range effort by debutant Simon Church put the hosts 2-0 by half-time.

Leigh Griffiths replied with a late consolation for the visitors.

“The intent was there from us from the start,” added McInnes. “Jonny’s goal certainly helps, it’s a fantastic strike. It gave us the confidence to go and be more measured with our work.

“We had to put that seed of doubt in their heads and Jonny’s goal does it.

“We then get the second goal, which makes it difficult for Celtic.

“We were worthy winners. In the second half, I thought the pressure on the ball from everybody and the energy we showed was fantastic.

“I thought we really kept Celtic at arm’s length. Thankfully, Griffiths scores when there’s very little time left.”

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