Keeper ensured us a point against Hearts, admits McInnes

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes conceded he had his keeper Joe Lewis to thank for a point that his team were relieved to scramble.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes at full time. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

The scoreless draw brought an end to a winning start to the Premiership campaign for the Pittodrie side but with Hearts taking charge after a bright opening spell, McInnes recognised the outcome could have been worse. “Hearts have got good players and we struggled at times to get up the pitch in the second half. So if we’re being honest enough with ourselves, we take the point,” he said.

“We gave Hearts encouragement at times but you have to say, Hearts have got good players. For whatever reason they haven’t been getting results over the last while, they have good players and I felt they showed that. We were more pleased to hear the full-time whistle than Hearts were.

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“We have our goalkeeper to thank for making good saves, as well as our defenders for making tackles and blocks. But a good goalkeeper will win you points when you’re not at your best. We’ve seen that time and again and Lewis has done that for us. We’re grateful to have him.

“Every now and again I’m asked about Joe but he’s not usually too busy. But there have been games in the last year when he’s been great. It’s certainly his best performance this season but we had a number of games last year where he made the difference.

“His concentration is so good and he fills the goals brilliantly. He just seems to have a calmness and assurance that says ‘I’m dealing with this’, and top keepers have got that. Hearts were getting bigger as the game went on and we were getting smaller, but he came for crosses.”