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Niall McGinn's Celtic trip no problem

By Stuart McKinley

Niall McGinn's appearance among Celtic fans at their match against Kilmarnock has been brushed off as 'something more than it actually is' by Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes.

Indeed the Dons boss believes that the reaction to McGinn being pictured alongside his former Parkhead team mate Anthony Stokes at Rugby Park on Monday evening wouldn't have been so big if Aberdeen weren't putting pressure on Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership table.

Some angry Aberdeen fans hit out at Northern Ireland international McGinn after the picture was posted on Twitter by his agent and business partner Gerry Carlisle, before it then appeared in newspapers in Scotland.

Others, however, have asked what the fuss is about, something that has been echoed by McInnes and he has no intention of taking any action against the 27-year-old.

"I've absolutely no problem with it. I just think it is a warning that they have to be more careful in everything they do," said McInnes.

"We have to realise that us and a few others are being looked at as challengers at the minute. Because we find ourselves at the top of the league there is a focus on us. I think the McGinn story is an example.

"Niall goes on his day off to a game with his pal. All of a sudden it can be perceived as something more than it actually is. The only thing he has been guilty of is a bit of naivety.

"Everything is being watched. His tickets were meant to be in the Main Stand and all of a sudden he goes with his pal and he's behind the goal, which isn't ideal."

McGinn joined Celtic from Derry City in 2009, but before that he had travelled to Glasgow to watch the team as a fan.

He moved on to Aberdeen in the summer of 2012 ­- making his debut against Celtic - and recently signed a contract to keep him at the club until 2017. The former Dungannon Swifts winger has also scored against Celtic during his time as an Aberdeen player and his performances this season have helped them to top spot in the Scottish Premiership, a point ahead of the Hoops, who have a match in hand.

This isn't the first time that McGinn has upset his own fans.

After playing for Northern Ireland in a 5-0 defeat against the Republic of Ireland in 2011 he said: "It's always good to feature in games like that. I'm a Republic of Ireland fan and it's obviously good to play against them. The only good thing to come out of it is that I got Robbie Keane's jersey."

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