McInnes gets lift-off before daunting trip to Parkhead

Aberdeen celebrate after Miles Storey put them two ahead with his first goal for the club on Saturday. Picture: SNS
Aberdeen celebrate after Miles Storey put them two ahead with his first goal for the club on Saturday. Picture: SNS
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Aberdeen - 2

McGinn 28, Storey 58

Partick Thistle - 1

Erskine 90

Derek McInnes admits Aberdeen needed a win against Partick to boost confidence ahead of next weekend’s trip to Celtic.

Although unbeaten in their previous two league games, both had been 0-0 draws and there was a feeling something had to give.

Niall McGinn’s stunning 27th-minute free-kick brought a wave of relief and Miles Storey’s first goal for the club seemed to have the Dons firmly in control.

Sean Welsh was sent off in the closing stages for Thistle – an indiscretion likely to earn him a fine – before substitute Chris Erskine netted a consolation and sparked a late surge that could have seen 
the visitors snatch a point. “It was important we won,” McInnes, pictured, said. “I saw the first hour of the 
St Johnstone game and they [Celtic] were terrific, really difficult to contain.

“Brendan [Rodgers] has got their mojo back and they’re playing with a lot of confidence. I think they’ll take some stopping, but the challenge for us and every other team in the league is to try to do that.

“It’s been a flying start for them, but it is only a start.”

McInnes will be without Jonny Hayes (hamstring) and a concern has arisen over skipper Ryan Jack, who missed out completely against Thistle and faces a scan today.

The Dons boss added: “Ryan’s had a wee niggle since the Maribor game away. He’s had a touch of fluid on the knee – nothing that we’ve been too concerned about, and we’ve been managing it. He trained Thursday and had a brilliant session but reported on Friday with fluid on the knee again. We’ll scan him on Monday and see what it is. Hopefully it’s nothing too sinister.”

Partick boss Alan Archibald saw plenty of positives to take into next Saturday’s clash with Hearts, and had praise for goalscorer Erskine.

He said: “I thought we passed the ball well and moved it well. There’s a lot to take from the game and we’ve just got to build on it and take it into the Hearts game next week.

“Chris was changed and ready to go on at 1-0 and then we lost the second goal. I thought the game would open up for him which is why he didn’t start.

“I would leave him out again. The team comes first and Chris understands that. He’s a massive threat, but 
you saw him have to clear 
one off the line which isn’t in his game.”