Quotes From The Press Room
Quotes From PA Sport
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes was delighted after Niall McGinn’s stunning strike early in the game handed Aberdeen victory over Kilmarnock in the new manager’s Pittodrie bow.
McGinn fired high into the net after just four minutes and though the Dons were rarely troubled by Kilmarnock, they were also unable to put the game to bed despite a number of chances – especially after the introduction of Josh Magennis midway through the second half.
McInnes said “I thought we were worthy winners. Jamie Langfield hasn’t had a save to make the whole game, but we made it more difficult than it had to be at times.
“We started with a real tempo and a bit of aggression about us. We couldn’t have asked for a better start with Niall’s finish. You can see why he’s been so important to us.
“A real piece of quality won us the game, but we were wasteful and it should have been put to bed long before the 90 minutes were up.
“Kilmarnock, as they do, had plenty of possession of the ball and forced us to put an extra body in the middle of the park. But where we’re falling short at the moment is putting the ball in the back of the net.”
As McInnes evaluates his squad and tries to identify where the focus lies for next season, he handed a debut to 17-year old midfielder Craig Storie and though the youngster went off at the interval, McInnes felt it was a useful exercise.
“We want to try and use a few younger ones and we will do that before the end of the season,” he added. “Craig has been different class for us, and we’ve enjoyed working with him. He’s shown a level of performance in the reserve team that justified him getting a sniff today.
“That 45 minutes today will be more beneficial than six months of reserve football. I thought he handled himself well and I have no doubt he’ll go on to be a good player for Aberdeen.”
Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels praised what he saw as a brave performance from a young Kilmarnock team, but appreciated the quality of the goal that proved the difference between the sides.
He commented “I thought we played well in the first half. We sustained our belief in how we play and we made a few mistakes but we looked the most fluent of the two sides.
“Conceding the early goal didn’t help and there were a lot of stoppages for free-kicks. We chased the game, and I thought we showed great promise.
“In the second half, we seemed to drop a little bit deeper and give them more territory. Every single chance they had, bar one, was the result of mistakes from young players learning the game.”
Since the split, Kilmarnock have now lost consecutive games without scoring a goal, but Shiels felt that his side showed confidence is not a factor in those results.
“If you were summing up the performance, you would say it was a brave performance,” he said. “They were brave in where they took the ball, and they were brave in the position they got into. It’s not as if we’re lacking confidence.”
Shiels highlighted the goal as the difference between the two sides, continuing “That’s why Niall McGinn is one of the nominees for (SPFA) Player of the Year. He deserves it and he scored a fantastic goal.”