Aberdeen 1-0 Dundee Utd - McInnes hails Euro qualification

Adam Rooney was on target for Aberdeen
Striker Adam Rooney continued his excellent scoring form for Aberdeen

Manager Derek McInnes is thrilled to have secured European football for Aberdeen before the Scottish Premiership split.

A 1-0 win over Dundee United cements the Dons' grip on second place, five points behind leaders Celtic.

Adam Rooney scored his 27th goal of the season from close range in the 39th minute, following up a save from a Mark Reynolds effort.

And the Dons held on comfortably despite a second-half red card for Barry Robson.

"I don't think that should be underplayed," said McInnes of the achievement.

"I know it has been on the cards for a few weeks, but it's great work for the players that we can secure European football at this stage of the season, with five games to go.

"That result goes a long way to securing second spot as well, but we would never take that for granted.

"We lost on the opening day of the season here against Dundee United and, if you had said to me that day we would be 22 points clear of them, I would have grabbed it, and that shows how good the players have been."

Robson vehemently protested his innocence after being dismissed for catching Charlie Telfer with his arm and McInnes will consider appealing against the decision.

"I never at any point saw Barry elbow him," the Dons boss added. "I think there's a coming together and Barry is trying to protect the ball.

"I've watched it again and obviously the linesman is far closer than I am, but for me there is no red card offence there.

"For me it's not clear Barry has committed a foul there. I do think it's really harsh, we will hopefully get a better view of it."

Dundee United suffered another blow when Mario Bilate limped off with a hamstring injury, having already missed a large chunk of the season with a similar problem.

Mario Bilate was was taken off with a hamstring injury at Pittodrie
Mario Bilate (left) was taken off with a hamstring injury at Pittodrie

"It's his other leg this time," United boss Jackie McNamara said. "I feel for the lad, he was visibly upset when he went off.

"It's been a horrendous time for him with injury, it's been that since he came here in the summer. We will need to assess the damage."

McNamara though that a slow start and a lapse in concentration cost his side.

"I don't think there was a great deal in the match," he said. "It's always crucial to get the first goal and that's why they are second in the league.

"A bit of concentration has cost us for the set-piece, to see the ball and think it was going out, and the reaction has been costly. In open play, I don't think either keeper had a lot to do."

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