The Manager “today was all about the points”
After beating Kilmarnock at Pittodrie, Derek McInnes was delighted to see his team back to winning ways.
“At this stage of the season and on the back of the run we’ve been on, I think everybody would accept today was all about the points. I thought we picked up from where we left off at Celtic Park, I thought we started well and Hornby and Kamberi were influential in those early stages. Ferguson should maybe have done better with his chance and we had a couple of early moments in their area.
“Just as we were getting settled in the game, Hornby got injured but fortunately, wee Hendry immediately came up trumps with the goal. I was delighted for him to get off the mark. As a striker, especially coming in on loan, you want that first goal as quick as possible. McGinn, as he’s done for years here, his delivery was on the money, real quality with the free-kick, but Callum still has a lot to do. He watched it all the way, kept his eye on it and it’s a great header. He is good in the air, and he took it well.
“It’s frustrating that just as Hornby looks like he’s really getting going, he gets injured. We’ve took a few like that this season. It doesn’t look too good, which would be a real blow, it looks like a pull at the top of his thigh. It may be a consequence of not having had a lot of football before he came here and then having three games in a week. If it’s a fatigue based issue, hopefully is not too serious.
“I thought we had one or two other chances to score, but as the game went on, Kilmarnock were getting bigger and bigger with every substitution and we had to deal with that physicality. Second half they changed their shape, went with a front two, and we had to deal with that first ball up to the strikers.
“By and large we dealt with that but at the same time, we forgot to play in the second half. Subconsciously, players who’ve been on this type of run, you feel you want to hold on to what you’ve got and not lose it, you focus on that. Maybe McCrorie should score, we had one or two other things, but one was enough in the end. It’s 17 clean sheets now this season, that’s been important for us, but we’re obviously searching for more goals.
“It’s been a tough spell these last few weeks, but it’s a reminder to myself and the players that when you work at this club, there are big demands. I don’t think we were ever as good as people said we were when things were going well earlier in the season and I don’t think we’ve been as bad as people have said ewe were over these last few weeks.
“You have to accept everybody is going to have an opinion and a comment about us, you have to accept that there. But I reminded the players before we started that at the minute, we’re the fourth best team in the country. We want to be the third best by the end of the season and to do that, we need to get winning games, scoring goals.
“Getting the win today will hopefully help matters and I’m just pleased that my players have go the rewards for their efforts because I see how had they work, how committed they are, how professional they are. This kind of run and the criticism we’ve had affects players, we’ve got a lot of young ones here too, but tonight they can feel a lot better.
“It’s only one win, but hopefully we can move on from there. We want the games after the split to be relevant, that’s when it really gets sorted out, so we want to make sure we’re in good form going into that. Whatever other teams do is up to them, but if we are winning games, we know we will give ourselves a shot at third. We’ve left ourselves a bit to do but there’s enough games to deal with that if we do our jobs right.”