Boss Derek McInnes declared his love for his Aberdeen side after they clinched second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership for the fourth year running with a final day 1-0 win over champions Celtic at Parkhead.
It was a trophy-lifting day for the home side but a dampener was put on it when Andrew Considine fired in the winner in the 47th minute to register the Dons’ first league victory at Celtic Park in 26 attempts.
Aberdeen finished the campaign nine points behind Celtic, three ahead of chasing Rangers and six in front of Hibernian.
McInnes took a “lot of pride” in his side’s performance and had a dig at the league rivals who had doubted the Dons’ mettle.
He said: “I loved my team today. I absolutely loved them. It shows what we are capable of.
“I hope everyone can see what I could see today, it was a brilliant team performance.
“A lot of satisfaction comes from when people doubt us.
“It was aimed at us from Hibs players saying we didn’t have the mentality or they had the better mentality, or the Rangers players saying that they were the second best team, or Celtic players saying Hibs were the second best team to them.
“Whatever motivation we needed, it came out in our performance today. And there is nothing better than looking after your own business.
“Joe Lewis made a couple of great saves but nobody could deny us that today.”
McInnes was not quite sure exactly why defender Shay Logan was shown a red card at the end of the game by referee Craig Thomson although the defender was involved with certain Celtic players amid some exuberant celebrations towards the Hoops fans.
He said: “I just said that the fine starts the kitty off for next season.
“I think maybe Celtic players took offence to us over-celebrating which Shay can be guilty of at times but I honestly don’t know.”
It was the seventh successive league title for Celtic and they now turn their attention to the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Motherwell at Hampden Park next Saturday where they will look to win an unprecedented successive domestic treble.
Brendan Rodgers experienced his first domestic defeat at home since taking over at Celtic in 2016 but he preferred to look at the season as a whole.
“We looked tired and a bit sluggish, it was our 60th competitive game,” said the Northern Irishman, who is hoping skipper Scott Brown will be fine for the cup final after being on the receiving end of a crunching tackle which earned Graeme Shinnie a booking.
“I thought the team with the greater need to win the game won the game.
“We didn’t play so well but of course in the bigger picture, over the 38 games we thoroughly deserved to win it and I told the players to make sure they celebrate in the next day or so and then you can get focused for next week.
“It is always disappointing when you lose.
“That is the first time we have lost here in the league in the two seasons I have been here.
“But you have to put that aside and look at the bigger picture, the guys have had an incredible season again with extra scrutiny and expectation to go and win the league was great and congratulations to Aberdeen, they were in a fight to finish second so it was a really good day for them.”