Rangers de­nied

Dons man­ager McInnes de­ter­mined his Kil­lie win­ning run will con­tinue

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - FRONT PAGE -

Rangers missed the chance to draw level with Premier­ship pace-set­ters Celtic and Aberdeen as they were held to a 2-2 draw by 10-man Partick This­tle in a dra­matic match.

Aberdeen man­ager Derek McInnes is de­ter­mined to main­tain his flaw­less record against Kil­marnock at Pit­to­drie this af­ter­noon.

Since suc­ceed­ing Craig Brown four years ago, McInnes has won all 13 matches against the Ayr­shire side and the Dons will be ex­pected to make it 14 in a row when Lee McCul­loch’s men travel north.

Kil­lie are yet to reg­is­ter a vic­tory this sea­son and have claimed only one point from their open­ing five fix­tures.

McInnes said: “I to­tally un­der­stand we will be firm favourites to win the game but Kil­marnock will win at some point and get mov­ing.

“You nor­mally find a cou­ple of teams take longer to get go­ing. In Lee’s de­fence, they signed more play­ers than any other team in the league and I know how dif­fi­cult that can be in terms of in­te­gra­tion and fa­mil­iar­ity.

“Sign­ing as many play­ers as they have could be a fac­tor why they haven’t got off to a good start but they have some good play­ers and I’m sure Lee will be work­ing hard to get the right for­mula.

“Hope­fully they find their win fur­ther down the line.”

McInnes has ex­plained why Iceland in­ter­na­tional Kari Ar­na­son has barely fea­tured so far this sea­son.

The 34-year-old, pic­tured, who was with the Dons dur­ing the 2011-12 cam­paign, re­turned to the club in July from Cypriot side AC Omo­nia.

But Ar­na­son has not fea­tured since be­ing sub­sti­tuted 60 min­utes into the open­ing day 2-0 win against Hamil­ton fol­low­ing an un­con­vinc­ing dis­play.

McInnes said: “We have got good op­tions in that po­si­tion. I have been pleased with An­thony O’Con­nor at right cen­tre back, he has started the sea­son very well.

“Any player who is not get­ting enough starts has to make the most of any op­por­tu­nity, whether that is through train­ing or a game.

“We have a strong squad and some­times I would like play­ers to make my mind up that they are play­ing.

“We have put a squad to­gether for a full sea­son and I’m sure every­one will play a part. Like any squad, some will play a big­ger part than others.

“We are hope­ful that every­one who has signed will make a good con­tri­bu­tion.”

Gary Mackay-Steven (an­kle) and Greg Tansey (groin) are ex­pected to miss out for the Dons.

BY DANNY LAW

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