Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has challenged Marley Watkins to reach double figures for the first time in his career.
The on-loan Bristol City attacker opened his Dons account yesterday when he scored the first goal in his side’s 3-0 win at Ross County, with two penalties from Lewis Ferguson completing the scoring.
The Welshman’s best return in a season is eight goals and McInnes believes Watkins is capable of bettering that tally whilst at Pittodrie.
He said: “Marley’s never throughout his career been a guy who scored 15 or 20 goals, but he’s always contributed.
“He’s always been an important team player, but he is capable I think, in this team, to get well into double figures. It was an important goal for Marley to get him up and running.
“I think anybody who has been watching us over the last wee while will see how he has led the line and brings so much to the team.
“We tried to make not too much of an issue of it, but he is there to score goals as well and I think that was so important for him.”
The striker’s contribution was one of several pleasing aspects of an excellent Aberdeen display against the Staggies, who suffered their third straight home defeat.
The Dons were dominant from the first whistle to the last in Dingwall and if there was any disappointment from their display it was that the margin of victory was not greater.
McInnes was delighted with the emphatic response to last weekend’s 3-0 home loss to Motherwell.
He said: “It was important we got back to winning ways.
“It took us a while in getting the first goal, but it was a very important goal for the team.
“There was also a sense of relief. We were so dominant in that first period, but were so wasteful with our chances. On another day, that can come back to bite you.
“We go in at half-time 1-0 up and we ask for more of the same. The tempo and intensity of the team was clear from the start.
“It was in complete reverse to last week, where we started a bit dippy after the European game.
“From first minute to last, I thought the players were fantastic.”