Aberdeen 3-0 Hamilton: Derek McInnes delight at cap quartet

Aberdeen's Simon Church and Jonny Hayes celebrate
Simon Church scored against Hamilton as Jonny Hayes was man of the match

Derek McInnes says added confidence gained by players on international duty helped Aberdeen to a dazzling dismantling of Hamilton Academical.

Simon Church, Niall McGinn and Kenny McLean scored the goals, while Jonny Hayes was named man of the match.

"They got an extra dose of confidence coming back from international duty and returned hungry to play for Aberdeen," the manager told BBC Scotland.

"Hopefully we get more strong performances from those four."

Winger Hayes had made his first appearances for Republic of Ireland, midfielder McLean got his first cap in Scotland's win over the Czech Republic, Church scored for Wales, while fellow forward McGinn played for Northern Ireland.

"It's great that three of the boys who played for their countries got goals and Jonny Hayes made a huge contribution in the 90 minutes," said McInnes.

"They couldn't deal with him to be honest. Wherever he popped up was causing all sorts of problems for them and you could see how strong his game is."

Aberdeen's Niall McGinn celebrates
Niall McGinn netted his 10th of the season

McInnes believes his side can win all six remaining matches, which is certain to include a trip to Celtic Park after the Scottish Premiership splits into two sections of six, as they look to close the four-point gap on the leaders and defending champions.

The Dons, who had lost their previous game to Motherwell, next travel to Tynecastle hoping to be the first team to beat Hearts on their own patch twice this season.

"Only St Johnstone and ourselves have won there in the league this season, so it shows how difficult a task it will be," he said.

"If we can replicate the performance against Hamilton then it will help us get there.

"It was important that we showed we are still fighting and that was clear."

Asked if Aberdeen could overhaul Celtic, who play their game in hand against Dundee on Tuesday, McInnes said: "We will try to win as many games as possible and it is important we finish the season as strong as possible - wherever that takes us.

"We will finish where we deserve to finish, but performances like the one today pleased me no end."

Hamilton's players are disappointed at Pittodrie
Ziggy Gordon (right) was at fault for Aberdeen's second goal

Accies player-manager Martin Canning was hurting after only an inspired display by Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern spared them a bigger defeat.

"The first two goals were avoidable and it was a terrible start to the game for us," he said.

"It is a difficult enough place to come without giving a very good Aberdeen side a 2-0 lead, which is disappointing as we have defended well lately, but the boys battled hard in the second half."

The defeat leaves Accies four points above second-bottom Kilmarnock and nine clear of Dundee United, who have a game in hand, but Canning is confident they can recover to avoid relegation.

"It is going to be tight, but it was always going to be that way," he added. "This was the toughest of the games remaining, though.

"We have Dundee to play on Saturday then it's the last five matches against the other teams down in the bottom half of the league."

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