Aberdeen: Adam Rooney hat-trick response delights Derek McInnes

Aberdeen's Adam Rooney celebrates against St Johnstone
Adam Rooney's goals took Aberdeen level with leaders Celtic

Adam Rooney's fourth hat-trick for Aberdeen takes his overall tally to 81 goals in 163 appearances, but manager Derek McInnes is demanding more.

The Irishman's goals ensured a 3-0 win over St Johnstone that puts the Dons level on points with leaders Celtic.

"Everyone will rightly talk about his goals and he has been our go-to guy for those, but I expect him to be more supported this season," said McInnes.

"But I am really pleased for him as he is a brilliant boy."

Rooney has previously hit three against Motherwell, Daugava Riga and Livingston, but this was only his third start of the season after the arrival of Stevie May and Greg Stewart provided McInnes with more attacking options.

McInnes revealed that he had held talks with Rooney earlier in the week to outline the extra dimension he wanted from the striker's play.

"We had a good chat through the week and we spoke about the team creating more opportunities for him," said the Aberdeen manager.

"When we get early crosses in like we did today, he is as good as anybody in finishing that off and his anticipation is fantastic.

"We spoke to him about trying to win more headers for us, be a nuisance for defences and put people under pressure and work hard to get into those areas.

"He has always worked hard and always caused problems for St Johnstone from minute one and he was far more influential on the game."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes says Aberdeen go into two big games with confidence

"There has been a bit of frustration from him that his game can be better and that comes from not getting the starts he wanted.

"However, today was a couple of notches up in terms of his own individual performance."

Aberdeen lost to Motherwell in the League Cup quarter-finals but remain unbeaten in the Premiership this season.

McInnes knows that record will be tested after the split with visits to Easter Roa to face Hibernian, followed by the visit of champions Celtic.

"It's a good return as we would have taken 20 points from 24 at the start of the season, even if we are kicking ourselves at dropping two points at home to Kilmarnock," he added.

"It could have been better, but any time you are unbeaten over eight games in the league, you have got to be pleased.

"We have some good games when we come back, but we are settling down now and hopefully we can keep going steadily on to win games."

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