Derek McInnes believes Aberdeen’s players must rediscover their sense of devilment if they are going to effectively torture their opponents.
The Pittodrie club’s manager has watched his side totally dominate teams in recent weeks only to fail to put them away decisively. McInnes has been pleased with the quality of their performances but frustrated that they have not brought more than a single goal in any of their last seven matches.
That inability to fully exploit superior play allowed ten-man Celtic to steal a late winner at Pittodrie in last month’s Premiership clash. Then, to add insult to injury, they were mugged in stoppage time at Dens Park last week after dominating Dundee for the vast majority of their Scottish Cup tie.
Now McInnes wants to see more ruthlessness from his players when Hamiton visit tomorrow to get the rewards he is convinced their overall play merits.
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He said: “We’ve had some decent performances of late and we’ve managed to grind out wins when we haven’t been at our best. But the performance at Dundee last week and against Celtic here recently were very good yet we lost both matches.
“It would be nice to get the performance and the reward for it but to do that we have to learn from those defeats and have a bit more devilment about us. We’ve managed to create chances and I would be more worried if we were not doing that.
“I believe we have the players here who can convert those chances and hopefully that will be good enough to win this game. We’re disappointed at losing the cup tie but there are four very important league games left this year against teams around us. That gives them extra significance with the first of those against Hamilton so it is important we are focused on that now.”
McInnes admits Aberdeen have an added incentive to put on a show as its their first home match on a Saturday since beating Caley Thistle at the end of September.
The Dons manager knows the number of games switched for TV is a reflection of how well the club are doing under his control. However, he has a sympathy for the team’s supporters who have been starved of their regular Saturday fix of football recently.
He said: “It’s easy for us to adjust but there’s been a lot of disruption for the supporters in recent months. They spend a lot of money buying season tickets and they expect to see the majority of games at three o’clock side on a Saturday.
“This is our first at Pittodrie since September so hopefully we can put on a performance that makes them happy. I understand that games being moved for TV is a reflection of us doing well and it is par for the course.
“I just feel the disruption for our supporters has been a wee bit too much at times. We have to cater for TV and Friday night is not too bad but Monday fixtures can be a bit more challenging for supporters to get to.”
Midfielder Barry Robson faces a fitness test on a hip injury before McInnes finalises his team.
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