Derek McInnes sure home form will keep Aberdeen in race

Andrew Considine had Aberdeen's best chance of the match but sent a free header over the bar. Picture: SNS.
Andrew Considine had Aberdeen's best chance of the match but sent a free header over the bar. Picture: SNS.
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Derek McInnes has called on Aberdeen to maintain their good Pittodrie form as they face a third home tie in eight days – against Motherwell tomorrow – and aim to close the gap to second-placed Rangers to a single point.

Having been ruthless in their 5-1 Scottish Premiership victory over Kilmarnock last midweek, the Dons found it tougher going against 
St Johnstone and had goalkeeper Joe Lewis to thank for keeping the scores at 0-0 as his fingertip save from David Wotherspoon proved vital.

Manager McInnes said: “We’ve only lost to Celtic at home so we do feel we’re strong at home. I think that’s why we’re disappointed – we expect to win here, no matter the opponent.

“We’ll go again on Tuesday to try to win the game that takes us a point behind second. I think December will give an indication where teams are going to be. Hopefully we can gather enough points come the end of it, to be happy with our work over the first half of the season”.

Aberdeen went into Saturday’s match with a poor record against their opponents, having won just one of the last seven league meetings between the sides and failing to win any of the last three Pittodrie clashes.

The Dons’ best chance of a cagey affair came on 20 minutes when Andrew Considine sent a free header over the bar from James Maddison’s corner.

Saints created some decent opportunities and looked more likely to break the deadlock. Steven MacLean fired wide, substitute Graham Cummins sent an acrobatic effort over the bar and, right at the death, Wotherspoon’s free-kick rattled the post via the fingertip of Lewis.

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright praised his attacking options as his side coped with the absence of talisman 
Danny Swanson to create the better chances in a game he felt they might have won.

“Danny is an important member of the team,” he said. “But we don’t put him on a pedestal. You can’t do that, you can’t rely on one player. We’ve managed to cope without him in the past, and we will do again.

“There’s every chance he’ll be fit for next week.

“Michael Coulson has come in and done well. Chris Kane plays that role higher up really well, and he’s disappointed to have missed the ball in the lead-up to Murray Davidson’s chance in the first half.

“Graham Cummins has been looking more like himself in training, looking stronger and giving defenders problems like he did when he first came in.”