Aberdeen's Derek McInnes eyes points against Celtic after draw with Rangers

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes and his player applause the fans at full-time
Derek McInnes praised his players for still being in the hunt for second

Taking a first point of the season off Rangers gives manager Derek McInnes hope that Aberdeen can get a result against Celtic to clinch second place.

The 1-1 draw means the Dons are a point ahead of Rangers going into the final weekend of the Premiership season.

And a victory over the champions would secure the runners-up spot.

"We hadn't laid a glove on Rangers all season, we've got something and played well and we are probably going to have to do that against Celtic," he said.

Aberdeen head to Celtic Park on Sunday to face a side who have beaten them three times this season without conceding a goal, while scoring eight in the process.

But McInnes' side had also lost all their previous encounters with Rangers.

"The league table doesn't lie, so it's still an opportunity for us," he told BBC Scotland after Kenny McLean's first-half penalty was cancelled out by Rangers' Ross McCrorie after the break.

"It will go to the last game and there's still going to be twists and turns and a bit of drama, but the fact is we're in the mix going into the last game.

Aberdeen's Kenny McLean scores from the penalty spot
Norwich City-bound Kenny McLean scored from the penalty spot in his final game at Pittodrie

"It's fascinating stuff. It is exciting."

Hibernian will draw level with third-top Rangers should they beat Hearts in Wednesday's Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle and ensure a three-way final-day battle for second place.

"I'll be the biggest Hearts supporter tomorrow than I've ever been and my whole family will be," McInnes admitted.

While Aberdeen missed a chance to end Rangers' hopes of finishing second, the Dons boss insisted he was just pleased to go into the final game ahead of the two chasing sides considering he had to rebuild his squad in the summer.

"We knew how difficult it was going to be," he said. "If I take myself back to the summer, half of our outfield team, replacing like with like was going to be tough.

"We tried to rush the recruitment to be ready for Europe.

"To still be in second place is great testament to the work of the players.

"Although we didn't get the win tonight, we showed we are a very good team and had Rangers on the ropes for long periods."

Scottish Premiership top six

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