Aberdeen manager Craig Brown hailed his side’s performance in the 3-1 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park as they finally showed their ability to convert commanding play into goals and points.
Kilmarnock - O’Leary (3)
Aberdeen - Rae (46), McGinn (55), Vernon (90)
Kilmarnock took an early lead through Ryan O’Leary, but the Dons stormed back with goals from Gavin Rae, Niall McGinn and Scott Vernon.
Aberdeen have already drawn five times in nine Clydesdale Bank Premier League matches, but Brown believes he has now seen a more clinical side to his team. “I don’t want to disagree with [Kilmarnock boss] Kenny [Shiels], but if he thinks they deserved something from the game then, with the greatest respect, I can’t agree with him,” Brown said. “At half-time I told the players we were the better team and to go out and prove it.”
With eight goals and seven points from their last three league games the obvious difference was emphasised by Brown when he said: “We have only had one defeat this season, but the three 0-0 home draws felt like six points lost.”
Having dominated the latter part of the first half without scoring, Aberdeen took less than a minute of the second period to equalise through Rae, with McGinn giving them the lead ten minutes later. And although Vernon grabbed his first SPL goal of the season in the final minute to make it an emphatic scoreline, it is McGinn’s contribution which has made a difference in recent games.
McGinn, who will now join up with Northern Ireland for their World Cup qualifieragainst Portugal, said: “That’s three goals in three games, but I’m just delighted it is three points.
“The turning point was probably the Motherwell game when we came back from 3-1 behind. But, all in all, we have played well this season and been waiting for the results to come.”
Brown added: “McGinn along with Gavin Rae has got crucial goals. His movement and pace are great assets and I’ve told him he will have the chance to use them on Porto’s big pitch and show [Cristiano] Ronaldo how to play!”
Shiels felt his Kilmarnock side deserved more from the game: “After we scored the early goal we dropped off and gave them the ball.
“Then we make a stupid mistake and it is 1-1 and the game changes. It was one of those days when Aberdeen got the breaks and took them to be 3-1 winners. But I genuinely think we were hard done to with the final result” he explained.