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Derek McInnes | Celtic Reaction

December 23, 2017 8:29 pm Author: AFC Media Team

“There is always disappointment when you prepare to get a result and come here wanting to get a result. There was a lot of good stuff especially with that first half performance.

“We had our troubles to deal with ahead of the game.

“Shay Logan had a bug and did not travel. Stevie May was ruled out yesterday. There is an ongoing problem with his ankle after the tackle in the Rangers game and he is still having problems. It flared up again so we had to deal with that. We then had to deal with Scott McKenna yesterday morning after he had a tightness in his calf. After consultation with the medical people we felt if he missed this one he might be able to play in the next two. So rather than aggravating it we did not put him in the starting XI. And Ryan Christie can not play so that was four players ruled out from a winning side last week. Greg Tansey is also still out.

“So we had adjustments to make and I thought the players who came in who have not had a lot of game time did well. It was a bit makeshift but there was still a semblance of authority in our game in the first half. I thought we pressed well, we got into some good areas. The only criticism I had with the team at half time was that we did not make more of those opportunities. When we got into good areas we were guilty of not working the goalkeeper enough and not having that real conviction about our play.

“Celtic got a huge slice of luck.

“I did not think there was a lot in the game at that stage. The referee was actually in the eye line of Joe Lewis when Lustig has the shot. It then comes off Dominic Ball and diverts completely in the other direction. Which can happen. I do think it is a really untidy slap dash goal to separate the teams.

“I thought if we could get to half time at 0-0 the emphasise on my talk would be on trying to have more conviction (the final third). The Celtic players came off to a better reception than what they could have got. I thought we were the better team first half.

“Then I think the second half they did not really open us up too much, but we lose another soft goal. They get to the by-line which can happen but then Reynolds header comes off Arnason and it is 2-0. It was an untidy goal rather than anything of real quality from the opposition, which they are capable of.

“That then knocked the stuffing out of us.

“That can happen here. I thought the players were very brave and very committed. The consequence of me having five players out, it affects our bench. I did not have any real options to change the game tactically. We made one change with the centre forward – Maynard replacing Rooney. But that was all we could do at that stage of the game. So we had to go as we were (tactically).

“Shinnie picked up a little knock as well. He was not as effective as he was in the first half.

“For the third goal Kenny makes the mistake but I thought he was excellent as well. At 3-0 Celtic started to enjoy the game and we had had the stuffing knocked out of us by that stage. It was a tough last 20 minutes and a tough watch for us.

“I am not going to dwell on it. I am going to take the positives from it. We were on a good run and there were some positives to take from the performance. Especially when you take into consideration the injuries.

“The disappointment was that we have had three assists today for them.

“I thought in the previous game at Pittodrie, Celtic were very good and when Celtic are on it they can cause any teams problems. I thought the two teams were very close today. Yes, goals change games and we did not get ourselves in front when we had the opportunities. Even in the second half Arnason was free at the front post, Nicky Maynard also had a free header. We had one or two other opportunities to work the goalkeeper. So we are not without blame. It is not all down to lucky that we have lost the game but I do think there was a touch of fortune about the Celtic goals.

“Losing eight loses in a row to Celtic is very frustrating. Some have been closer than others. Today was close up to a point. Without making too many excuses the vast difference in resources always makes them way ahead of us. I have said this often enough. They have got Jonny Hayes who was our best player last season playing a cameo role up until today. There is a huge gulf there with what they can do compared with what we can do but I still feel there is a result in us and I will keep saying that.

“I do think the game today was closer than the results suggests. Up until 65 minutes we were well in it.

“On the injury front, Logan should be ok for the next game. May won’t be. Christie obviously will be. McKenna should be.

“Stevie will be out for a few weeks. It was a bad challenge at the time and we were concerned about it. We got it scanned. He has tried to work through it and his training has been monitored. It has been different to everyone else’s to try and get him ready for games. He tried to train on Thursday but came in yesterday morning and the ankle had blown right up again. There is work needing done to it. Hopefully he will not need surgery, but he will need treatment on that area because it has been getting worse and worse.

“We will probably have to go as we are now for the next couple of games. Hopefully we can finish 2017 off positively. I have been pleased with what the players have given me this calendar year and if we can go and win our next two home games we would be quite pleased with our work for this period. And then we can rest and do what we need to do and then look forward to the second half of the campaign.”

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