Inverness CT 1-2 Aberdeen: Dons need Celtic 'collapse' - McInnes

Niall McGinn's free-kick deflected off David Raven for Aberdeen's equaliser
Niall McGinn's free-kick deflected off David Raven for Aberdeen's equaliser

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says it will take a "disaster" for Celtic not to win the Premiership after his side closed the gap to five points.

The Dons came from behind to defeat Inverness and ensure they can finish no lower than second.

However, McInnes does not expect Celtic to slip up enough for the league title to still be a realistic prospect.

"It'll take a disaster and an absolute collapse from Celtic, if they don't win the league now," he told BBC Scotland.

Aberdeen completed a clean sweep of wins against the Highlanders this season with victory at the Caledonian Stadium, despite falling behind to Edward Ofere's goal.

Niall McGinn's free-kick was diverted in by the head of David Raven to level the game before Northern Irishman McGinn found a winner.

"We knew the significance of winning today," said McInnes. "I thought Inverness showed exactly why they've been so consistent this season.

"In the first half they were outstanding, they were excellent. We've got our goalkeeper [Scott Brown] to thank for keeping us in the game at 0-0.

Edward Ofere (grounded) steered Inverness Caledonian Thistle in front
Edward Ofere (grounded) steered Inverness Caledonian Thistle in front

"Sometimes you have to go behind to get that wee spark from your team.

"That's four times we've beaten Inverness and as an Aberdeen team we've found it difficult over the years to beat Inverness. We've got a good record against them, but when I came in I said if we finish above Inverness we'll know we've had a good season.

"To be sitting on 74 points is an excellent return; testament to the players, how hard they've worked and we've had to find a way to beat a good team today, but we've done that more often than not this season."

Inverness manager John Hughes admitted his side were not clinical enough with Marley Watkins and Nick Ross both spurning chances at 0-0, while they also failed to build on the lead after Ofere's opener.

He said: "They [Aberdeen] are where they are because they know how to dig it out. And even today when I think we were the better team in the first half, the experience they've got, the profile of the club demands they dig it out, and Derek's instilled that in the club.

"We have to get that - when we're in front be ruthless."

The game was six days after Inverness clinched a place in the Scottish Cup final by beating Celtic 3-2 after extra-time, and they were often in the headlines this week after defender Josh Meekings successfully challenged the offer of a one-match ban to allow him to face Falkirk at Hampden on 30 May.

"It's been a tough week but you can see today we are where we are on merit," added Hughes.

"We played some good stuff against a high-flying Aberdeen team and we've always been a match for them, but they can always just pip us to the post."

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