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Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes delighted to overthrow leaders Celtic

By Ronnie Esplin

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes hailed his players after they took advantage of Celtic's postponement at Partick Thistle by beating St Johnstone to move top of the Scottish Premiership.

David Goodwillie's superb overhead kick sent the Dons on their way to their sixth straight league victory, which was made safe by Cammy Smith's injury-time conversion.

McInnes said: "We can't deny that it is a great feeling to be at the top of the league.

"We said it was all about the game today and that it was another three points up for grabs, just like any other game, but that extra bit of motivation to go top of the league is something that the players recognised.

"I think it showed in their performance that it was important for them to go top and that is really pleasing for me.

"The players looked ready to play today, even before we knew about the Celtic game being postponed, and it was a top performance. It just shows what they are capable of and they should feel good about themselves tonight."

With Aberdeen next in action at Motherwell on Sunday, a day before Celtic go to Kilmarnock, they could extend their lead at the summit but the Dons manager is keeping calm.

McInnes added: "I think myself, the players, the staff and the support are all just looking forward to the next game. I think when you are on a winning run, the next game cannot come quickly enough and that is the case for us.

"We are enjoying the feeling of winning and we want that to continue."

McInnes's counterpart, St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright, had no complaints with the outcome but expected more from his team after arriving in the Granite City chasing a club record of six straight wins in the top flight.

He said: "We made it easy for Aberdeen and did not play particularly well, which was the disappointing thing from our point of view.

"When you give a side like that a foothold in the game they can be very good and that was exactly what they were.

"I was pleased that we kept it to 1-0 for as long as we did and towards the end we thought we could sneak a point. Obviously it would not have been deserved but by keeping the score at 1-0, we were still in the game with the hope of taking something.

"We committed everybody forward at the end and as a result of that, Aberdeen scored their second and 2-0 was probably not a true reflection of the game overall."

Elsewhere, Dundee United roared to an emphatic 6-2 victory over derby foes Dundee, while Hamilton Academical remain in fourth - just one point off the European positions - after hammering struggling Motherwell 5-0 at New Douglas Park.

Kilmarnock banked a 2-1 victory over St Mirren and Ross County's drop woes were heightened by a 3-1 home loss to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

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