DELIGHTED Derek McInnes hailed his Aberdeen players as they fought back to beat Hibs 3-1 at Pittodrie.
The Dons were trailing 1-0 following Christian Doidge’s first-half strike and were heading for their fifth consecutive Premiership defeat at Pittodrie.
Easter Road gaffer Jack Ross saw his team reduced to 10 following the 55th-minute red card for veteran Steven Whittaker after he picked up his second yellow card for a lunge at Lewis Ferguson.
Now that his men have produced their first home win since Boxing Day, McInnes has now targeted European qualification for a seventh successive campaign.
The victory opened up the chance for his side to overtake Motherwell on Friday when the teams meet in a third-placed showdown at Fir Park.
McInnes, speaking to the Evening Express, said: “I thought everybody to a man were outstanding in the second-half.
“The players have to deliver the performance and they did it brilliantly.
HANDY ANDY…defender Andy Considine knocks the ball over the line to put the Dons 2-1 ahead.
“We played with assurance, confidence and intelligence when they went down to 10 men. It is so important that we finish third.
“It is an important game and clubs like Aberdeen should be playing meaningful games at this stage in the season.
“I am not really interested in how the table looks just now.
“We have got ourselves in a situation through inconsistency, particularly either side of the new year.
“Now what we have to do is that consistency of performance we have been seeing away from home and that consistency of results of late.
“The players deserve so much credit.”
An own goal from Adam Jackson drew the Dons level before strikes from Andy Considine and Curtis Main secured the crucial three points.