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Derek McInnes | Kilmarnock Reaction

November 26, 2017 5:44 pm Author: AFC Media Team

“In the first half we came out and imposed ourselves on the game. I thought we played around their shape and I thought our players handled the ball well. We get the two goals and as the away team that puts pressure on Kilmarnock. We anticipated Steve (Clarke) making changes at half time both in personnel and tactics because I felt we were very comfortable in that first half.

“So when they go with the two strikers and a diamond shape, the diamond can make the game a bit more untidy. It can make the game a bit longer and it was up to us to try and take advantage of playing around that shape.

“I thought the third goal at the start of the second half should have stood for us. Gary Mackay-Steven is clearly onside. It is a poor decision having seen it again. Stevie May’s goal should stand. If you go 3-0 up at that stage, with them having already made changes, it would have been a much more comfortable second half for us.

“Credit to Kilmarnock. They kept going.

“We were trying to make the change. Mark Reynolds was stripped to come on when they got their goal. I just thought we were getting that bit too deep and we were not engaging with them. I thought our shape helped us once we made the changes – we made a second sub (Adam Rooney) so we could get a front two together. We thought with their full backs pushing on there would be space down the sides next to their centre-backs. Where Stevie May picks the ball up for the third goal, that was exactly the areas we should have been working in the last 20 minutes.

“I am pleased for the players. It was a good response. Everyone was hurting after last week’s defeat. It was important just to get back to winning ways. I think that is 12 away games in the league that we are unbeaten with ten wins and two draws. It shows good focus on each and very game. Although we did not get the clean sheet it was important to come here and get the three points.

“I thought we started really bright. Shinnie and McLean are normally at the heart of anything positive we do. I thought it was a great start for us with the goal coming in less than a minute. Great start and it was completely opposite to the start we had last week at home to Motherwell. It does normally help the course of a game when you get off to a start like that.

“I thought everyone contributed well. I thought we had some big performances today. I thought at the back we were very robust when we had to deal with what they threw at us in the second half. I thought O’Connor and McKenna were excellent. And I thought we showed both sides to our game. We did the dirty stuff well and we also passed the ball really well, in the first half especially.

“When the game becomes untidy I would still like us to be a bit better in possession and force our game onto the opposition. I can’t complain because as they have shown, Kilmarnock will take points off teams this season.

“It was a big win for us.

“The Kris Boyd comments were not mentioned before the game by me. I don’t have a problem with someone giving their opinion. I don’t agree with what he said but there was not any added motivation to do well because of that. Whether the players mentioned it I don’t know. From my own part the motivation was to try and win all three points.

“We now have a double header, the first game against Rangers is at Ibrox on Wednesday. It is always a fixture that is eagerly anticipated. We go there on the back of this win. Rangers have obviously had a couple of extra days to prepare for it and rest up. We are mindful that we need to get maximum rest into the players now. We will give them reminders of the good things that we did today and look at what we could have done better. Hopefully we will be ready to go and show that we are a good team on Wednesday night. It is not easy winning there, but we won at Ibrox at the back end of last season and the intention is to try and go and win again.

“I was not aware of any issues in the dressing room (during the recent media speculation). It is an easy thing to assume when you lose a game. I feel as though we have been working away as normal. Sometimes when you do the work, prepare the team and set them up; kick off comes and you don’t always get the result, as was the case late week. And last week was a sore one. We were awful and I said that.

“This week we have done the work and done a lot of one to ones with the players. We got the reward for working hard and hopefully we can do something similar this week.

“Traditionally we have always shown in November and December that we are a good team. We normally deal with the fixtures and the demanding schedule. I have no injuries throughout the squad at the moment. When we don’t have those injuries or suspensions we have a good squad to cope with that demanding run of games. Hopefully we can come through the next seven or eight games before the winter break by amassing a lot of points. The next three points are available on Wednesday.

“I don’t think you worry about pulling away from teams in the league or keep in touch with people. For us it is just about concentrating on ourselves.

“I think you normally find when the winter break comes, you then get a better feel for how the league table will pan out. I think it is a good gauge where you will be. So it is just one game at a time and hopefully we can get a decent run going again. We are a team that is capable of going on winning runs and unbeaten runs and hopefully this is a start of another one.

“We have bounced back this season after losing games. After the Celtic game we were extremely disappointed. A couple of days later we were at home to Ross County and I was pleased with that result.

“I have always said to the players, we don’t get carried away or ahead of ourselves if we win games. And we are never as poor as people might say if we lose a game. It is always just about the next game. You can’t get too up or too down. The players are normally very focussed. We have worked with a couple of different squads now but the focus has always been good and the players have always produced the focus that is needed. Today was another case of that.

“We have a very good record down here against Kilmarnock. I just felt we were ready for today.

“I can dress it up and say he is still contributing and making good runs and working extremely hard, but you know, and I know that a centre forward needs his goals. A striker is not feeling good about himself unless he is scoring. Stevie (May) has got our last touch for the second goal before it came off their boy. He then had another goal which should have stood before he scored a fine individual goal. So he was close to a hat-trick. That highlights that he is putting himself in good positions. You always feel there are goals in him and over the course of the season Stevie will be happy with his contribution.”

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