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Derek McInnes says Aberdeen need a break after Ross County loss

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is looking forward to allowing his players a rest after a testing week ended with the Dons suffering a fourth consecutive home league defeat.

Having taken the lead through Curtis Main’s strike just before the half-hour, the Dons played 60 minutes with 10 men after Dean Campbell’s sending off and ultimately paid the price as Billy McKay netted late in each half to give Ross County a 2-1 win.

McInnes pointed to a heavy fixture load as a contributing factor, saying: “Since Ross County played St Johnstone last Saturday, we’ve played 90 minutes against the champions, gone down to Kilmarnock and played extra time before getting to our beds around 3am.

“We’ve had two fairly full-on games since Ross County played, but the last thing we needed was to go down to 10 men.

“The players were clearly shattered out there. We knew going into the game the physical part would be an issue.

“We tried to freshen it up before the game and knew we’d use our subs early, but we’ve had an upturn in performances the last few games and it won’t derail that.”

County co-manager Steven Ferguson says his side won’t get carried away despite the win leaving them 10 points clear of bottom side Hearts and eight clear of the relegation play-off spot.

He said: “We need to put it into perspective. It’s one game of football and it’s only three points.

“Our end goal is to be playing Premiership football next year, and if we get more performances and results like that then we’ll manage it.

“In-house we always want to do better and we think we can do better.

“We have to look after what we can influence and control and take our medicine on what we can’t control.

“It’s not about systems or patterns, it’s about how the players perform on the day. We were patient and got our reward.”