Derek McInnes backs James Wilson to make impact at Aberdeen

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes told James Wilson to keep producing like he did in his Easter Road performance despite the striker missing two excellent chances in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Hibernian.

The on-loan Manchester United forward failed to convert two one-on-ones, but he engineered the first entirely by himself after running from the halfway line and beating a man before seeing his shot blocked by the foot of Ofir Marciano.

The substitute was then played clean through by Greg Stewart in stoppage time but missed the target.

However, he was lively throughout after replacing the injured Sam Cosgrove after 19 minutes and set up a good chance for Stewart with a wonderful run and cross.

The 23-year-old has only scored three goals since arriving amid high expectations in August but McInnes was encouraged by his latest display.

“I thought James Wilson had his best game for us,” said McInnes, who is hopeful that Cosgrove and goalkeeper Joe Lewis will shake off injuries before Wednesday’s visit of Rangers.

“I said to him, ‘don’t be thinking about the missed chances’, because his speed, his intelligence, his work-rate, was everything I want from him.

“There’s no striker out there who doesn’t miss chances but his energy, speed and determination to go into those areas really pleased me.”

First-half goals from Andrew Considine and Gary Mackay-Steven, who later missed a penalty, won the game after Oli Shaw’s early opener, and McInnes praised his three-pronged strike force, which also contained Stevie May and Stewart.

“The penalty was a good save but the work-rate from the ones up top – Wilson, May, Mackay-Steven, Stewart, (Graeme) Shinnie when he went a wee bit higher – kept Hibs away from where they could do a bit of damage.

“It was clear we never wanted to let Hibs enjoy the game and I don’t think they caused us too many problems.

“It was more of a challenge for us because we never took our chances.”

Hibernian caretaker boss Eddie May looks set to be in charge for a third time when they visit Celtic Park on Wednesday as the club consider their appointment of Neil Lennon’s successor.

“I think I am (still in charge) at this moment in time,” he said. “If the new managers’s in before then, great, if not I will just have to go and we will try our best to win at Celtic Park.

“The players have been fantastic.

“It’s been different with Neil going but the new man will come in, hopefully quite soon, and we can get refocused as a group, and as a club, and put a style of play that’s befitting of Hibernian Football Club.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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