Derek McInnes appreciates confidence boost before Celtic clash

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Derek McInnes says his Aberdeen team will go to Ladbrokes Premiership leaders Celtic next week in confident mood after registering three straight wins.

The Dons turned on the style to defeat Hibs 4-1 at Pittodrie on Saturday, with Gary Mackay-Steven scoring a hat-trick.

The winger’s treble came after an early opener from Graeme Shinnie, who also put through his own net in stoppage time for Hibs’ consolation goal.

The victory, coupled with Rangers’ defeat to St Johnstone, saw the Dons reclaim second spot in the table ahead of their visit to Parkhead.

McInnes said: “It will be another tough game but I could not be more pleased with the players going into it.”

“We have just won 1-0, 3-0 and I was hoping for 4-0 there before the whistle goes in getting that clean sheet.”

“We are well aware of what is ahead because when you go to Parkhead, it is a tough game.”

“But if we can play anywhere near like we can, and we showed signs of it against Hibs, then hopefully it will be a tough game for Celtic as well.”

After his side’s Pittodrie defeat, Hibs manager Neil Lennon refused to criticise Efe Ambrose, who was given a torrid time by Mackay-Steven.

The Nigerian defender, operating at full-back, made a big error for Aberdeen’s third goal but Lennon praised Ambrose’s attitude.

Lennon said: “Efe is the least of my worries.

“He is the only one who tries to play and he is the only one who takes responsibility.”

“He has been absolutely outstanding.

“I am playing him at right-back to accommodate other people and he has done really well.

“If he was at fault for the third goal then so be it but he was the least of my worries.

“My goalkeeper looks short of confidence just now and my two centre-halves were poor, as were my midfield three, and I got nothing from the players going forward.”

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