Aberdeen's Gary Mackay-Steven delighted with "big win" over Hibernian
Gary Mackay-Steven insists Aberdeen's 1-0 win at Hibernian sent out a major message to their Premiership rivals.
Second-placed Aberdeen are behind leaders Celtic only on goal difference and remain unbeaten in the league after nine games following Saturday's win.
"We wanted to come down here and set a marker," said Mackay-Steven, whose excellent first-half goal was the difference between the sides.
"We've been going all right but there's a lot more to come from us."
Mackay-Steven joined Aberdeen from Celtic in the summer and believes the Pittodrie men are well-placed to maintain their challenge at the top of the table.
"It was a big win, we are happy," the 27-year-old added. "We signed a lot of new boys as a club. It takes time for everyone to find their feet. The boys are starting to gel.
"We'll do stuff after training together; it's a great bunch of lads. We feel we have the personnel to compete."
Dons boss Derek McInnes was delighted to see Mackay-Steven open his league account for the club, and equally as happy with this side's defensive display.
"When you come to Easter Road you are not going to get it all your own way," he said.
"I thought it was fiercely contested. The goal had loads of quality about it - the build-up approach play, the weight of pass, the timing of the run and the finish.
"It's very pleasing for Gary because it's been very stop-start for him. His performance was excellent, he carried a threat for us.
"We managed to keep the Hibs threat to a minimum. The quality of the goal separated the teams."
Hibernian manager Neil Lennon felt his side were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet but was pleased with much of their play.
"I'm frustrated," he said. "We were excellent so I can't be too critical of the team. It's just in the final third we were lacking.
"Aberdeen are a good side. The one genuine bit of quality came from them for the goal. We worked [goalkeeper] Joe Lewis in the second half, we hit the post, we had one off the line. We had 16 attempts at goal, three on target; that is my bug bear. But for the rest of the game our football was good and we defended really well.
"But we are playing well. It's probably the best we've played at home for a while.
"We have one point out of nine [points from last three games] at home so that has to get better. Our away form's been excellent."