Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has challenged his players to extend Hibernian’s Easter Road woes when the Dons travel to Edinburgh tomorrow.
Hibs have put a dismal start to the Scottish Premiership behind them to move up to fifth place, two points behind fourth-placed Dons. However, their poor home form has not gone unnoticed, with Pat Fenlon’s team having managed just one league victory in Leith.
McInnes said: “It will be hard as Hibs have a lot of good players and the fact they are on a good run makes it even more difficult. But regardless of the opposition it’s what we do that matters. If we play to our capabilities we can cause them problems as well and give ourselves a chance of winning the game.”
The Leith side’s physical approach to tackling the champions at Easter Road last weekend drew criticism from Celtic manager Neil Lennon. But McInnes did not agree.
He said: “Any manager wants his team to be committed and do all they can to get a result and what we saw from Hibs was no more than that. Hibs are on a great run at the moment and any time you take a point off Celtic, as they did last week, is good for team spirit.
“They played well, their goalkeeper had a good game and their players had to make tackles and be strong.
“I watched the game back on Monday and that’s exactly what I saw.”
Dons midfielder Barry Robson, pictured, is in contention for a starting role after making his return as a substitute against Dundee United last Saturday.
McInnes is keen to get the midfielder involved again at the earliest opportunity, but hinted the veteran may have to bide his time. He said: “Barry brings quality. He is a strong influence, but the Kilmarnock game on the first day of the season was 11 weeks ago now. I have to be fair to the players who have come in and done well in his absence. But he has had another week’s training which won’t do him any harm.”
Josh Magennis and Craig Murray are out as they recover from minor operations while McInnes hopes to arrange a bounce match next week for midfielder Chris Clark, who is back in full training following a knee injury.