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Derek McInnes urges Curtis Main to add more goals to his nuisance factor

Aberdeen v NSI Runavik – UEFA Europa League – First Qualifying Round – Pittodrie Stadium
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Derek McInnes believes Curtis Main can be much more then just a merchant of menace as he backed the fit-again Aberdeen striker to add goals to his nuisance factor.

The Englishman has faced a string of niggly injuries since moving from Motherwell to Pittodrie 18 months ago.

But he looked back to his best against Ross County as he fired both goals in a 2-0 win over County.

It was the first time the 28-year-old former Middlesbrough and Doncaster frontman had found the net since August and McInnes admits while Main can be difficult for opposition defences to handle outside of the box, he has not always been deadly inside it.

However, the Dons boss reckons the striker has all the tools to become a lethal finisher – so long as he can stay out of the treatment room.

“I think menace is a good word to describe Curtis,” said the Pittodrie manager. “He may not always been prolific throughout his career but we feel Curtis at his best is a real handful, upsetting defenders and stretching back lines.

“He backs himself to score goals and is a good finisher, whether it’s left foot, right foot. Technically he’s capable.

“While he’s not always had that prolific return, he came here to be that kind of striker and that’s what we all want.

“But being a menace, being a handful who is difficult to play against means he can still contribute and his link-up play is good. When he gets his fitness up then hopefully he can supply more of that.

“If your front players are scoring goals then it’s difficult to leave them out.

“I was really pleased with Curtis’ second goal last weekend and the sharpness of it. And the confidence to go do that too.

“We’re trying to get his training minutes up because it’s so important for players to be at their best. It’s been stop-start for Curtis.

“There’s been too many little niggles which have frustrated him and myself. But hopefully he’s over that and two goals will do him no harm whatsoever.”

Aberdeen face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Saturday – a venue where they have not lost in nine years.

But McInnes insists there have been no easy games across that 17-game unbeaten run and he expects another tough examination from Alex Dyer’s team.

He said: “It is unusual to be so strong against one opponent like that. Let’s face it, it’s been against various different Kilmarnock teams and various different Kilmarnock managers and we’ve always come out with the desired result really.

“Hopefully on Sunday we can do that again.

“But what I have to say is that through all of those results, we’ve never had it easy at Kilmarnock and we don’t expect it to be.

“They have a lot of know-how, a lot of experience, a lot of battle-hardened players and an obvious goal threat so we understand Sunday will be difficult.”