ABERDEEN boss Derek McInnes has praised his players for turning the heat up on Rangers in the pursuit of second place in the Premiership.
The Ibrox side, six points adrift of the Dons, are confronted with a must-win situation at Inverness this evening when they take on a Caley Thistle outfit battling for survival in the top flight.
Remarkably, the Gers were seven points clear of the Dons just before Christmas.
When the McInnes’ men lost 2-1 to Ross County in Dingwall on December 17, their chances of catching the Govan side looked extremely slim.
But a sequence of seven wins in their last eight league games has seen the Dons turn that deficit into a huge advantage going into this weekend’s fixtures.
As McInnes prepared the team for another tilt at Jim McIntyre’s County side tomorrow, he said: “The players deserve full praise for knuckling down and getting on with the job.
“It has taken real determination from them to win seven out of eight in this league.
“Sometimes it’s almost taken for granted that’s just what we do. But I recognise how much effort the players have put in to make that happen.
“It also shows the quality we have in our squad, which is very pleasing.
”We were seven points behind, but had a game in hand, which was a comfort. I always felt we could win that to make things a bit closer.
“We also knew we have a team here that is capable of going on winning runs.
“It’s why I don’t get too worried if we go through a spell when our form isn’t as great as we would like.
“But we have shown over the last couple of seasons that we tend to come through those periods.”