Aberdeen 1-0 Dundee: Derek McInnes sets sights on Celtic

By Scott DavieBBC Scotland at Pittodrie

Aberdeen beat Dundee for the third time this season, but what manager Derek McInnes really wants is another win against Celtic to prove they can challenge for the title.

Adam Rooney's early goal in a 1-0 win moved them to within three points of the league leaders after making it 24 points from the last 30 available.

"It's the second strong run we are on this season in the league," he said.

"But we are up against the team at the top of the league."

The Dons beat the defending champions 2-1 at Pittodrie in September despite finishing the match with 10 men.

That's the sort of fighting spirit they have rediscovered in a run of 10 games without defeat in the league since losing at Celtic Park in late October.

It is why McInnes believes they are in the right sort of form to ignite their championship challenge when the top two clash in the Granite City on Wednesday week.

"That will be our toughest game as it is for any team when they take on Celtic," McInnes told BBC Scotland.

"But we take confidence from the way we have stayed unbeaten in the league since they beat us the last time we met.

"We have beaten them already this season, when we were down to 10 men, and the players will be relishing the chance to win again.

"That opportunity is there and hopefully the performance will be good enough against a good Celtic team."

McInnes has already been linked with moves to bring in Partick Thistle midfielder Stuart Bannigan and loan deals for Wigan Athletic's Don Cowie and Southampton striker Sam Gallagher.

He is remaining tight lipped about specific targets but said he is confident of having at least one new player on board in time to face Celtic.

"We will see where we are in terms of injuries, but I don't think Ryan Jack or Willo Flood will be ready for that game," he said.

"Mark Reynolds will be back and available for that one, but I would like to think we can do some sort of business between now and the end of the window.

"Hopefully there will be a new face in the squad by the time that game comes around."

Kevin Holt
Kevin Holt had to go off in the second half after a challenge from Aberdeen's Shay Logan

Dundee have only failed to score in four league games this season and three of those have been against Aberdeen.

Despite that, manager Paul Hartley was pleased with the effort his side produced, especially in the first half, even if poor defending once again proved costly.

"Aberdeen had a great 10 minute spell in the first half when they came at us, but we caused them problems going forward," he said.

"The second half was a bit more difficult in terms of the wind and the pitch as it wasn't a good surface to play on.

"My players showed a real togetherness, great attitude, fighting spirit and we could have got a late equaliser.

"I was disappointed with the goal we lost, but I was really pleased with the players against a good team who are second top for a reason.

"Now we have a massive game on Tuesday night against Falkirk in the cup to get ready for.

"We will regroup for what will be a tough test as they are a good team."