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Derek McInnes looks to build momentum after ending Aberdeen’s barren run

Aberdeen are looking for a new manager following the departure of Derek McInnes.
Aberdeen are looking for a new manager following the departure of Derek McInnes.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has praised his players for the resilience they showed in returning to winning ways.

The Dons ended a club record of six games without a goal by defeating Kilmarnock 1-0 at Pittodrie last weekend.

A much tougher assignment awaits this afternoon when they travel to Celtic Park to take on the Hoops, who will be without Neil Lennon after he resigned as manager earlier this week.

The Dons pushed Celtic close earlier this month in a 1-0 defeat in Glasgow, but McInnes is hopeful his side can get a positive result this afternoon and build some momentum heading into the closing stretch of the season.

David Turnbull flashes in the only goal for Celtic against Aberdeen.

He said: “They are a brilliant bunch of boys and you wouldn’t have known we were on a tough run if you walked into our training ground and saw how lively they are.

“They are very together and a good, competitive bunch.

“They have a conscience and care. We want to do as well as we can.

“January can be an unsettling month anyway for players with some moving and others coming in.

“We were keen to focus once that window closed.

“We feel the last three performances have been better.

“It is important for players to get that feeling of winning.

“That is why we are here. For that game at 3 o’ clock on a Saturday and you want to come off the pitch with that win.

“We’ve had good performances and too many draws, but for us to achieve what we want this season we are going to have to get more wins, regardless how they come about.

“Winning is why we are here.”

Callum Hendry heads in Aberdeen’s first goal in seven games.

A long-range strike from David Turnbull was the difference when the Dons travelled to Parkhead on February 17 and McInnes felt his side were unlucky to take nothing from a keenly-contested encounter.

He added: “We feel that we deserved something from the game at Celtic. The performance was good on the night.

“Nobody will tell me any different. It came down to a bit of brilliance from Turnbull and a refereeing decision going against us. But in terms of territory and chances created, we were pleased.

“We tried to take that performance into the Kilmarnock game. Although the conditions were difficult at home, we deserved to win the game and everybody needed to feel that reward and that feeling of winning again. It was a very important win for us.

“Now we go back to Celtic having just been there, in different circumstances from their point of view, but it’ll be something similar for us and hopefully we can get a positive result.”

The Dons are without strikers Fraser Hornby (thigh) and Michael Ruth (illness), while Jonny Hayes (hamstring) is a major doubt.

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