Aberdeen V Partick at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

03 November 2013 04:31
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McInnes praises mental toughness

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has been delighted with his side's mentality during their first round of games in the Scottish Premiership ahead of Monday's clash with Partick.

Aberdeen were second after completing their opening fixtures with a 2-0 win at Hibernian last Saturday when Scott Vernon and Gregg Wylde came off the bench to score.

The Dons followed that up with an even later 2-0 League Cup win at Motherwell despite being reduced to 10 men in the 13th minute when Joe Shaughnessy was sent off for a reckless tackle.

Aberdeen teams have been on the end of a number of cup shocks in recent years so McInnes was thrilled to win against the odds.

And the Dons boss believes their mental toughness will stand them in good stead as they prepare to begin their second round of fixtures at home.

McInnes said: "It's a big part of the game and I think we have shown that this season.

"We have had a lot of late winners. On Saturday at Easter Road, in the last 10 minutes we scored a couple of goals, Wednesday night we scored a couple of goals late on, against Inverness we got a late goal, Dundee United a goal in the second half as well.

"So I think there has been a lot of games that have been in the balance for us this season already and the players have never accepted anything other than going for that win.

"That's great to see and hopefully we can keep producing that because I do think it's important that when we go out on the pitch that we're always out there to win the game."

Aberdeen had their previous game against Thistle won early on as they swept to a 3-0 victory at Firhill. But that was a rare heavy defeat for the Jags this season and McInnes knows his former Dundee United team-mate, Alan Archibald, will have his team well prepared.

"I think it's been the only game, big Archie said that, that they have been well beaten," McInnes said.

"We played well on the day and I think we capitalised on a couple of mistakes but that has been uncharacteristic by them, they have been excellent.

"Every time I have seen them I have never failed to be impressed.

"They have really brought something to the league and all the plaudits they have been getting are well deserved.

"I really enjoy watching them when I go to games and we have a tough match ahead of us."

Partick striker Kris Doolan feels his side have adapted well to the increased physical presence of defences in the Scottish Premiership.

Thistle took 13 points from their opening 11 matches after coming up from the First Division and Doolan has netted five goals.

The Jags have impressed with their passing game and Doolan believes the major difference in the two leagues is the size and strength of his direct opponents.

Doolan said: "They are all big and strong. You'll not find any small defenders in the Premier League and if there are they are few and far between.

"That means we have to work the ball into the box differently. We can't just throw balls in on top of them because these guys will clear them.

"That's probably the main difference, for me going forward anyway, that we have got to work the ball differently into the box.

"You just adapt as quickly as you can. I think as a team we've adapted well.

"We have not changed the philosophy, the way we play football. We did in the First Division and we're continuing that in the Premiership.

"But I think that's down to the gaffer setting us out in the right way and the boys continuing to do well.

"We all know how good the players in this club are. The gaffer encourages us to play the same way and we all trust each other, we know how good each other is on the ball.

"That allows us to play the football we play."

Source: PA