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Derek McInnes hails Aberdeen display but warns ‘we have to defend better’

Rangers v Aberdeen – Ladbrokes Scottish Premieship – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Robert Perry)

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes was delighted with his side’s first-half demolition of Hamilton but warned they will have to improve defensively for a league and cup double-header against Celtic.

Tommie Hoban put the Dons in front with a close-range header and Lewis Ferguson’s thunderbolt, followed by two neat finishes from Ryan Edmondson, seemed to have the Dons on easy street.

But David Moyo pulled one back before the interval and Ross Callachan’s penalty midway through the second half made for a tense finish at Pittodrie, though the Dons hung on to move up to third in the Scottish Premiership.

Tougher tests await over the next two weekends and McInnes said: “We had a very good first half.

“I thought we controlled the game, and compared to Saturday we had more shots, more pressure, more balls in the box, and more bodies in the box. We got a variety of that.

“Ryan Edmondson led the line well and showed the benefit of having a traditional number nine in there, and I thought we missed that on Saturday. If Ryan hadn’t had to come off injured I think he’d have got a hat-trick.

“We lost a goal down to 10 men with Jonny Hayes off injured, but we have to defend better than that. That type of goal isn’t like us, but you don’t need to give Hamilton any encouragement. They never give up.

“The second half was more frantic than I’d have liked, but I’ve no complaints about the penalty with the new rules. It takes a wee bit of shine off it, but we’ve got the points and gone third in the league.”

Hamilton’s Brian Rice was frustrated by his side’s defensive performance.

He said: “We’ve now scored twice at Easter Road (against Hibernian) and Pittodrie and three times at home to St Johnstone, and taken nothing.

“We were OK for the first 15 minutes, but then had a 20-25-minute spell that killed us.

“Take nothing away from Aberdeen, they scored a couple of really good goals, but I can’t keep defending us and I can’t keep talking about individual errors.

“In saying that, the second half is the best we’ve played this season.”