ABERDEEN boss Derek McInnes has told his players he wants to see their fighting spirit as they look to stretch their narrow lead over Motherwell.
The Dons currently sit second in the Scottish Premiership, just a point ahead of Stuart McCall’s Steelmen having played a game more.
They missed the chance to extended that advantage last week as they lost 1-0 at home to Inverness while the Fir Park side were losing 3-0 at Celtic.
Now McInnes has ordered his troops to prove their mettle when they take on their rivals in Lanarkshire on Saturday.
He told RedTV: “It’s another very important game and whenever we’ve had a disappointing result, as we did last week, it’s crucial we show that resilience to come back fighting again and get back to winning ways.
“To do that we will need a strong performance against Motherwell. They beat us here not so long ago so I don’t think there will be any real surprises when we look at each other. We will know their team, they will know ours, and we also know what we are going to get is a really competitive match. It’s a match that’s very important.”
Aberdeen have been lifted by Thursday’s acquisition of Adam Rooney after the former Inverness striker agreed to return to Scotland following his release by Oldham.
Rooney scored 47 goals in his final two seasons in the Highlands and McInnes said that proven record was a crucial factor as he targeted the 25-year-old Irishman.
“We’re looking forward to working with a boy who has proved himself up here before,” said McInnes. “But it’s important that he proves that all again and that’s his challenge, to be part of a good Aberdeen team.
“I think he has watched the team. He is aware of the level of player we have here, the level of performance we’ve had and he wants to be part of that.
“He has a chance to play his part, not only this season, but we’ve managed to secure him for two years beyond that which is a good bit of business.”