Derek McInnes: Aberdeen boss lauds fit-again striker Adam Rooney
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes hailed the resilience of Adam Rooney, after the fit-again striker scored the winning goal against Partick Thistle.
The substitute's late header proved decisive at Firhill, as the Dons went top of the Scottish Premiership with a 4-3 triumph.
It was only Rooney's second appearance of the season, both off the bench, having been dogged by a thigh injury.
"I'm pleased for Adam; it's been stop-start with his injuries," McInnes said.
"He's had to watch others play ahead of him while working his way back from injury."
Aberdeen took an early lead in Glasgow thanks to Ryan Christie's strike, but fell behind to goals from Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan.
Christie was felled by Stuart Bannigan in the Thistle box, allowing Kenny McLean to level before the break.
Scott Wright curled in a magnificent third for the Dons, but McInnes' men were pegged back again by Niall Keown's header.
Rooney's match-winning goal was the Irishman's 76th in Dons colours, and while new signings Nicky Maynard and Stevie May have started up front in his absence, McInnes insists he still has an important role to play.
"We've got good options on the bench, not just to go like-for-like, but to change it and go 4-4-2," he told BBC Scotland. "Adam also gives us a bit more height and he's a bit more trustworthy at defending set-plays.
"But it was more important we got Adam on for what he can do in the opposition box. I thought he did very well to get on to Ryan Christie's cross and it's just the faintest of touches. Adam knows exactly where the goal is and he's done that time and time again for us."
Despite being knocked out of the Europa League by Apollon Limassol, the Dons have won all five of their domestic matches this season heading into the international break.
They sit atop the Scottish top flight with 12 points from 12, and qualified for the League Cup quarter-finals by beating Hamilton Academical.
"That was the objective - we wanted to get into the last eight of the League Cup and win four out of four [in the league]," McInnes said. "It's easy saying it, but it's about actually imposing ourselves and going out and doing it.
"In terms of the international break coming at the wrong time, possibly, but we've been back two months now from the early start for Europe, so I actually think it's something the players have been working towards.
"We've got a few days off, the ones that aren't away with their country, and we'll be back in preparing for Hearts the following week."
'We should be taking something'
At the other end of the table, Alan Archibald's Partick Thistle are still seeking their first point of the domestic campaign.
"We put a lot into the game - to score three goals against a good Aberdeen side, we should be taking something from it," Archibald said.
"There's real disappointment. I think there was a maybe a bit of fear towards the end of the game - I think that comes into it when you've not won a game - and we get a little bit deep.
"There was a lot of bad defending from both sides, but we put out an attacking line-up and we justified it with some good goals as well.
"There are positives there, but the negative is we've come away with nothing."