2017-18 Scottish Premiership, Regular Season
  • Anthony O'Connor (21')
  • Gary Mackay-Steven (37')

McInnes likes the excitement of post-split Premiership

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes feels that the post-split run-in and three-way battle to finish second in the Ladbrokes Premiership shows the strength of the split league system.
After the 2-0 Pittodrie defeat of Hearts, he said: "It's unusual that the three sides who can finish second have it all in their own hands to do.
"It shows you how well the split works as we're now effectively playing cup football through the league. It's exciting and we're glad to be right in amongst it.
"I don't buy into the psychological aspect of playing before our rivals. What's important is to get through each round of fixtures without losing any ground. Any advantage is momentary. It's for now but they still have to play."
Of his side's performance against Hearts, McInnes added "It was a good night's work.
"The intensity of our play both with and without the ball was clear from minute one.
"We scored two very good goals, and passed up good opportunities in both halves to add to that.
"I thought we played with a lot of intelligence as well as intensity. We got the ball to our ball carriers involved, and against a team renowned for not conceding many goals we created plenty of chances and got a thoroughly deserved three points."
Hearts boss Craig Levein said afterwards: "It puzzles me how our performances away from home can be so different to our performances at home.
"I'm not talking in the context of their application and effort. There was plenty of that tonight.
"For some reason we seem to be more anxious away from home, and our quality in possession suffers for that.
"We've got Celtic coming up next Sunday, and I know what will happen. We'll be at it, we'll be focused, and our quality will be better.
"Aberdeen hadn't beaten us this season until tonight, and in fact hadn't scored a goal against us.
"For next season we have to figure out how to put on the same level of performance away from home as we did today."