Aberdeen: Derek McInnes relieved to hang on for three points

Niall McGinn scores Aberdeen's fourth goal

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was relieved to take all three points after Inverness's brave comeback.

The Dons almost squandered a four-goal half-time lead as Caley Thistle fought back to 4-3 after the break.

"It just shows you it's some game we're all involved in," McInnes said. "Another five minutes and Inverness could've got a result there.

"It's never over until it's over. Games can change and the momentum definitely swung once they got that early goal."

Billy McKay scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season in 12 second-half minutes to begin pegging Aberdeen back from their big lead.

And Graeme Shinnie's late header ensured a frantic last few minutes for the Dons' defence.

A stark contrast to the opening 45 minutes, when Aberdeen cruised into a lead through Barry Robson's brace and impressive strikes by Peter Pawlett and Niall McGinn.

"Really, really encouraged and excited with the first-half performance," McInnes told BBC Radio Scotland. "I thought it was excellent.

"Once we got the first goal we played with a real assurance, confidence and style.

"[We] scored some good goals; really incisive play. 4-0 at half-time away from home against the team second in the league and who have only lost once here all season - it couldn't get much better than that.

The Dons re-emerged for the second-half a couple of minutes early and that confidence seemed misplaced when Caley Thistle hit back with two goals to make their visitors nervous.

"We were sloppy right from the kick-off," said McInnes. "From then on in Inverness started to think they might get something.

"We then had the added issue of Mark Reynolds going off and having to re-jig things.

"We said the right things at half-time, it was professional; 'keep the standards'; 'keep working hard'.

"The reason we sent them out early was because I felt we'd said all we needed to say and I wanted the players to be inspired by the support we had."

Reynolds was injured when he contested a header with Gary Warren and required lengthy treatment.

"He's got a facial injury rather than a head injury which obviously gives him the chance not to be out for the next game," McInnes added.

"He's away to hospital to get it stitched but it was nasty enough for him to have to come off. Hopefully he's okay because he's such an important player for me."

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