DEREK McInnes saluted the Aberdeen supporters as well as the players last night after seeing his side record a convincing 4-0 victory over Partick Thistle to return to second place in the Premiership.
Niall McGinn scored the first and last goals and Calvin Zola and on-loan defender Michael Hector struck the second and third goals to give Aberdeen their biggest league victory of the season.
The manager noted the patience of the supporters on a night when the level of expectation might have served to inhibit the players. “There was a wee difference in the crowd tonight,” said McInnes. “I thought the crowd were really patient with the players. They understood they were up against a team who are good on the ball and are difficult to break down. We kept the punters with us. The fans were excellent, over 10,000 on a cold Monday night when it is live on TV. That shows you where they are with the team at the minute.
“That understanding from them helped make it a good night for the club,” he added.
It was goalkeeper Jamie Langfield’s ninth shut out of the season and his fourth in succession on the day he was overlooked by Scotland manager Gordon Strachan in favour of his opposite number last night, Partick’s goalkeeper Scott Fox.
There were few other negatives for the Pittodrie club yesterday. “You have to be happy to see your team win 4-0 at home,” said McInnes. “I think it is not mentioned enough the number of shut outs we have had this season.”
Aberdeen have another home game against Hearts on Saturday before they face league leaders Celtic at Parkhead on 23 November. “After the first 11 games it gives you some idea where you are and we have now started on the second part of the programme with three points and that is encouraging. It is good to see the players have a real appetite for it,” said McInnes, who added that the goal of the night by Hector from nearly 30 yards “wasn’t in the scouting report”.
Thistle manager Alan Archibald lamented the soft free kick which allowed Aberdeen the chance to score McGinn’s opener but conceded that his side had given their opponents the chance to dominate. “It’s not nice to lose a game 4-0,” he said. “We gave them too much space and too much respect.”