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DEREK McINNES singled out matchwinner Gary Mackay-Steven for special praise after Aberdeen’s 1-0 victory over Hibs at Pittodrie last night.

A first-half solo goal from the tricky winger made sure the points were remaining at home when he pounced on a Ryan Porteous slip before zipping a low drive past keeper Adam Bogdan at his left-hand post.

Mcinnes enthused: “It was always going to be a difficult game and the conditions were as we expected. The importance of winning the game was clear  and the work-rate and industry at the top end of the pitch allowed us to unsettle Hibs.

“We limited their opportunities to have an impact on the game. Chances were always going to be at a premium, but we’ve capitalised on a loose pass from their boy, and Gary has a brilliant finish.

DONS JOY…Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes celebrates.

“It was important Gary delivered a performance. He’s got to feel that importance of being a big player for us and be relevant. He’s capable of big moments and goes into the international squad on the back of starting the season very well.

“If he gets the chance to play, he’ll be ready. For me, when he reaches his levels he’s as good a wide player as we’ve got in the league.”

Mackay-Steven, who was seen as surplus to requirements by Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers after being bought by Ronny Deila from Dundee United in January 2915, has been revitalised this season to earn a Scotland international call-up from Alex McLeish.

The touchline ace is in line to play against Albania and Israel in the European Nations League clashes this month.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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