McIness: Inverness setting the standard

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes admits Inverness are the benchmark for his side to aim for.

John Hughes: First home game. Picture: SNS
John Hughes: First home game. Picture: SNS

The Dons take on Caley Thistle in the Highlands today hoping to rack up their second victory of the season against John Hughes’ side.

The first victory back in September came when Terry Butcher was still in the Inverness dugout but even with the change in management, McInnes believes Caley Thistle are setting the standards in the Scottish Premiership that his side must strive for.

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He said: “It will be a tough game on Saturday. I have said previously that if we finish above Inverness this season we will have had a good season. I have no doubts about that.

“They have shown a level of consistency and competitiveness that has got them into the top six in the last couple of seasons. There is a lot right about Inverness, it is a good story.

“It is going to be hard fought and a very competitive match. It will be a tough game as well for them though. The last time we played we got a narrow win. There was not a lot between the teams. We will go up there looking for the three points and will be positive.”

New Caley Thistle manager Hughes opened his account with a point away to St Mirren before last Saturday’s 2-0 win at Hearts and today he will lead out his side for the first time in the Highlands.

McInnes added: “I think John Hughes is a good appointment. It looks a good fit looking from the outside. We want to go up there and spoil his first home game though.”

In September, the Dons inflicted a first Premiership defeat of the season on the Highlanders when Scott Vernon netted an undeserved winner and Inverness playmaker Aaron Doran insists his team are desperate to settle an old score this afternoon.

Doran said: “That game at Pittodrie hurt us. We didn’t think we deserved to lose. They got one half chance and they took it. At the end of the game they celebrated like they had won the league. That shows how well we were doing at that stage in the season. We were unbeaten and they knew how big a scalp we were that day. Now we want to go out on Saturday and get our own back on them.”

Billy McKay grabbed a double for Inverness against Hearts last week but it was midfielder Marley Watkins who stole the show with his crisp display.

Doran added: “Marley is strong, powerful and quick and now he is finally getting his chance. He got injured in pre-season and it has taken him a while to get going again. But he is now showing what he can do.”