Aberdeen v Celtic won't be decisive, says Derek McInnes

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Sport
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes won the manager of the month award for Aberdeen
Scottish Premiership: Aberdeen v Celtic
Date: Saturday, 12 September Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen Kick-off: 12:30 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is playing down the significance of Saturday's Premiership match against Celtic at Pittodrie.

The Dons are going for their sixth straight league win this season but lost all four matches against the champions last term.

Premiership manager of the month for August McInnes does not believe Saturday's outcome will be definitive.

"It's still very early on," said McInnes.

"You still want to make sure you find a way to win these games [early in the season].

"Those results against Celtic last season are well documented and I am constantly reminded about them but I still maintain we played well.

"We know it's a big game for us but, domestically, Celtic will see this as one of the toughest challenges of their season.

"Celtic have recruited well. I think they've lost arguably the best player in Scottish football over the last couple of seasons in [Virgil] van Dijk.

Aberdeen players celebrating
Aberdeen have won five out of five so far in the league

"They've offload a few players who weren't in and around the squad but brought good players in. They've made some good signings. I think they're actually in certain areas stronger.

"The aim is always to win and some games are tougher than others. Naturally, games against Celtic are tougher to win but we still feel we can win it."

Should Aberdeen win, they will set a new club record for successive league games won at the start of a new campaign.

"We've made a solid start to the season but we're now going into a significant run of games and it's the same three points for all of them," McInnes said.

"Obviously, now we can go and beat the record. It would be remiss not to mention it. The players are well aware of it now. There's enough to focus on regarding Saturday, rather than breaking any records.

"You're always more confident talking about these things once you have broken a record rather than talking prior to that.

"If we can get a six-game winning run at the start of the league campaign, that would be a brilliant start. At the minute, we've made a good start, a solid start. We've had three tough away games within that."

And, on his award, McInnes commented: "As everybody always says when they win them, it's a reflection on the efforts of everybody at the club.

"The players are fortunate they've got good staff working for them. It's a reflection of the staff I've got and the performances of the players.

"Any award that shows the club in a good light is always welcome."