Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has hailed Celtic’s dressing-room mentality, and even tried to use it as half-time motivation yesterday.
Neil Lennon’s Hoops showed incredible desire and character to fight back against the Dons and secure a fine 2-1 win at Pittodrie 24 hours ago.
Yet the win was hardly gift-wrapped to Celtic. Ash Taylor’s half-volley gave us something to think about as it pulled us back to 1-1 after Callum McGregor had initially opened the scoring. However, Kristoffer Ajer’s late winner highlighted the strength of character this Celtic team has.
McInnes spoke to Aberdeen’s official media channels post-match, and spoke of the never-say-die attitude of the Celtic dressing-room.
“I am really pleased with our approach. When you play a team like Celtic who are in such good form and have so many good players, for me the game starts in the head before you go onto the pitch. You need the mindset to make the game go our way.
“We spoke at half time about the mentality of the Celtic players. At no point do they ever accept not winning and every one of them will be thinking that they have to go on and win the game. That is the demand on them.
“For us we had Niall and Andy in that forward area when we put the ball into their box. Then about 10 to 12 seconds later the ball is in our net. It shows you their quality, it shows you their determination but there was plenty of quality and determination in my team.”
Aberdeen produce a scare but Forster not overly-troubled
Celtic were in a game yesterday, and credit to McInnes for hailing our players’ mentality. There was certainly a period in the game when things didn’t look like going our way.
Christopher Jullien was holding his neck in pain with around 15 minutes to go as Aberdeen won another corner. The fans were on their feet and it came minutes after Curtis Main was close to connecting with a cross from the left. It felt as though the momentum was fully with Aberdeen and that a point was the most we would get.
However, moments later we had Kristoffer Ajer making a charge up the full length of the pitch before slamming home a brilliant finish. That’s the difference between champions and title pretenders.
Yet as decent as Aberdeen’s performance was, it was by no means overly-dangerous. McInnes goes on to tell Aberdeen’s website that he believed his team were the better side. That’s perhaps stretching it a bit.
After all, the BBC stats from the game show that both teams had 50% possession and six shots each Yes, the Dons limited us and looked just as good as us on the day. Were they better than us? That’s maybe going over the top.
Regardless, Celtic got the points and that’s all that matters. Our 10-point lead at the top remains intact.