Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has challenged his players to build momentum heading into the international break.
The Dons began the healing process following their home loss to Celtic by taking all three points at Hamilton Accies on Wednesday and with two games left before the break next weekend – against Kilmarnock at Pittodrie today and then at Ross County – the Aberdeen manager wants to see his side put together a winning run.
He said: “We’re looking at the next two games and trying to put back-to-back wins together as that’s exactly what we need at the minute; a wee bit of momentum.
“It was a great response from the players at Hamilton in what was an assured performance and the margin of victory should have been greater given the performance but the three points were the most important thing at what can be a difficult venue.”
Kilmarnock visit Pittodrie having relinquished third place in the Premiership to Motherwell following their 2-1 defeat at Fir Park in midweek.
McInnes has been impressed by Killie’s reaction to their shock Europa League exit to Welsh club Connah’s Quay Nomads in the first qualifying round in July and believes new manager Angelo Alessio deserves credit for steadying the ship following the nightmare start to his tenure.
He said: “I know the Connah’s Quay result put everyone at the club under pressure but Alessio has quietly gone about his business and the players have carried on from last season, which says a lot about them. “The new manager has mirrored Steve Clarke’s style and they are difficult to breach and score against. They had only conceded four goals in seven games before the Motherwell game which is very impressive.
“Steve’s team liked to defend deep and bring teams on to them so they could counter-attack. Their players knew the system well and there has been a continuation of that.
“We played there earlier in the season and it was a forgettable 0-0 game. We had loads of possession but didn’t do enough with it. Kilmarnock were well drilled that day and we didn’t cause them too many problems but likewise there wasn’t a lot going in our box.
“We want to make sure, being at home where the onus is on us, that we make sure it is a different outcome this time.
Craig Bryson will receive a late fitness test after jarring his ankle at Hamilton. Ash Taylor is back in full training following his hamstring strain but is unlikely to be risked at Pittodrie.