Aberdeen V Motherwell at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

12 December 2016
Aberdeen V Motherwell - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Derek McInnes hoping Aberdeen maintain good home form against Motherwell

Derek McInnes has called on Aberdeen to maintain their good home form as they face a third home tie in eight days - against Motherwell on Tuesday - and aim to close the gap to second-placed Rangers to a single point.

Having been ruthless in their 5-1 Scottish Premiership victory over Kilmarnock, the Dons found it tougher going against St Johnstone with goalkeeper Joe Lewis to thank for keeping the scores at 0-0 as his fingertip save from David Wotherspoon proved vital.

Manager McInnes said: "We've only lost to Celtic at home so we do feel we're strong at home. I think that's why we're disappointed - we expect to win here, no matter the opponent.

"We'll go again on Tuesday to try to win the game that takes us a point behind second.

"I think December will give and indication where teams are going to be. Hopefully we can gather enough points come the end of it, to be happy with our work over the first half of the season".

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright praised his attacking options as his side coped with the absence of talisman Danny Swanson to create the better chances in a game he felt they might have won.

"Danny is an important member of the team," he said. "But we don't put him on a pedestal. You can't do that, you can't rely on one player. We've managed to cope without him in the past, and we will do again.

"There's every chance he'll be fit for next week.

"Michael Coulson has come in and done well. Chris Kane plays that role higher up really well, and he's disappointed to have missed the ball in the lead-up to Murray Davidson's chance in the first half.

"Graham Cummins has been looking more like himself in training, looking stronger and giving defenders problems like he did when he first came in."

Mark McGhee insists he will continue giving his Motherwell youngsters a chance - even if it risks costing his side points.

The Fir Park boss admits he could have jeopardised Well's result on Saturday against Kilmarnock when he threw on 20-year-old defender Dominic Thomas and teenage forward Jake Hastie late on.

His gamble paid off to an extent, however, as the academy recruits helped the Steelmen hang on for a point after a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Lee Clark's team.

McGhee reckons the young players need to sample the pressures of fighting for results at the top level if they are to develop into first-team players.

He said: "With all the talk about youth development in this country I think it's important that we keep reinforcing the message that we are putting lads in.

"On Saturday, there we were at 0-0 with 15 minutes to go and we put on two young lads to try and win the game.

"But we also risked losing the game and we are prepared to do that. I think that's the way we have to approach it.

"We've got to give young boys the experience of being in a situation where they could lose you the game. We need to give them that responsibility so that they learn from that.

"If we had lost that one point on Saturday it wouldn't have been the end of the world. Psychologically, to lose so late on and at home would have been disappointing but in terms of the table it wouldn't have been that critical.

"But we believe in these players. We believe they are good enough and when the two of them went on they almost won us the game, so they proved that. We're lucky we have them."

Ross MacLean and Lionel Ainsworth were guilty of passing up gilt-edged chances against Kilmarnock and their manager expects a better standard of finishing in the granite city.

McGhee - who confirmed midfielder MacLean will be ruled out for around a fortnight after breaking a toe at the weekend - said: "We had half a dozen really good chances and a couple of other half-chances, so we have to do better and at least make the keeper make saves.

"But it's about the old adage about making chances and as long as we keep doing that, with the players we have - guys like Louis Moult and Scott McDonald - then eventually the goals will come."

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