DEREK McInnes has reacted angrily to comments made by John Collins which blamed Scottish opposition players for not being “clever enough or quick enough thinkers” to punish Celtic.
Noting Collins “has a lot to say for an assistant manager”, McInnes seemed stung by this criticism from a fellow professional. He accused him of showing contempt for every other team in the Scottish Premiership.
Collins’ comments referred to the difficulties faced by Celtic against more technically proficient teams in Europe who prey on their openness, something the Parkhead side are allowed to get away with in the domestic game.
McInnes described Collins’ remarks as a “slap in the face for the rest of the league” as teams seek to try and bridge the gulf between themselves and the Parkhead club. Although beaten by Celtic in all four league games last season, Aberdeen are the nearest thing to challengers the champions have got in Scotland.
Dons manager McInnes clearly felt these comments more sharply than anyone on a day when Aberdeen kept pace with Celtic at the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Kilmarnock. Celtic defeated Partick Thistle by the same scoreline earlier in the day.
“He’s got a lot to say for an assistant manager, to be honest,” McInnes said with reference to Collins. “He’s entitled to his opinion. But if it was that easy they’d win the treble every year.
“I think it’s very disparaging, it’s a poor comment,” he added. “Whether he thinks that or not, I think it’s disrespectful to the rest of the league to say that. It’s disappointing. He is entitled to his opinion if he thinks that. But there is a level of competition there that can test them and I think what he said is a real slap in the face to the rest of the league. It’s not what you want to hear, to be honest.”
Aberdeen host Celtic on 12 September in what is now sure to be an extra spicy encounter.