Inverness 0-1 Aberdeen: Derek McInnes not looking too far ahead

Derek McInnes says Aberdeen fans are right to be buoyant about their position in the league but insists he and the players must stay grounded.

The Dons beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1-0 to move to within two points of Premiership leaders Celtic.

"It's a professional approach that we've got to have," said McInnes. "One game at a time. It's boring, clichéd."

Inverness boss John Hughes felt the result was an example of his side "not getting the breaks".

Peter Pawlett lifted Niall McGinn's pass into the top right corner to give Aberdeen an early lead after Josh Meekings and Carl Tremarco both leapt for the same ball and lost possession in the Inverness box.

The hosts had several efforts saved by goalkeeper Scott Brown and Billy McKay's shot struck the crossbar late on.

Aberdeen could have been awarded a penalty when Adam Rooney's header came off Gary Warren's arm but referee Calum Murray waved play on.

"We came to a difficult venue again and won," said McInnes. "We had our goalkeeper to thank with one or two saves. We were a bit wasteful with one or two opportunities to try and get the second goal.

"I think we should get a penalty, which makes the whole afternoon that bit more comfortable and I was disappointed that wasn't given.

Inverness manager John Hughes
Hughes will take his side Highland rivals Ross County on New Year's Day

"If you had said before the game it would be a 1-0 victory, I would've taken that. While I know we can play better, there was a lot to like about the team in terms of our resolve and mentality and good application for their jobs in winning the game.

"It's a full team effort. We defend from the front. [The goal was a] very good finish, he doesn't try to blast it, he just helps it on its way. Technically, a very good finish."

Craig Murray was afforded a rare start at right-back for visitors and McInnes felt the 20-year-old had played "exceptionally well".

"It's a big ask to come in when you've not been playing first-team football but he acquitted himself very well," he added.

"All in all, we're in a good place at the minute and long may it continue."

And when pressed about Aberdeen's title credentials, McInnes said: "For fans, there's nothing wrong with getting excited and feeling good about your team.

"The support we had today was fantastic. The players always know who we're representing. If we can keep having that resolve, that winning mentality, we can keep winning games.

"The next challenge is against St Johnstone [on 1 January], who are flying themselves at the minute. We just move to the next game and see where it takes us.

"If we look ahead of ourselves as professionals and start looking beyond St Johnstone, the slap in the face is always just round the corner.

"So, the message from myself to the players is: we don't think we're this and that, we just have to keep working hard. Normally, you get a bit of reward for working hard and I feel as though nobody's working harder than my team at the minute."

Hughes, who takes his side to Ross County on Thursday, was pleased with the effort of his team but admitted their passing "went astray".

"We put enough into it to certainly get something out the match," he explained.

"You can see that Lady Luck's just deserted us a little bit right at this moment in time.

"Take nothing away from Aberdeen. I wish I had in my team what they've got. They've got that experience, that know-how. Although we were the better team in the second half, you're still wary of them on the counter attack.

"We were a match for them. Any team that comes here knows that they've been in a game and that would certainly be the case today."