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Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes confident he can count on skipper’s loyalty

© SNSAberdeen manager Derek McInnes
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

Derek McInnes has never had a stronger relationship with a player than the one he shares with Graeme Shinnie.

And the Aberdeen gaffer hopes their connection counts for something as his captain weighs up his future.

Shinnie – with Scotland boss Alex McLeish looking on – bagged a stunning brace as the Dons dumped St Johnstone in Perth.

But with his contract up in May, the Red Army fear they may not have long left to enjoy their captain.

Aberdeen have made him an offer to stay – reportedly the biggest in club history.

But Derek McInnes admits he is playing a waiting game over Shinnie’s next steps.

“He’s a lot to consider, a lot to think about,” said McInnes.

“But what’s clear is his pride and love of being Aberdeen’s captain.

“The adoration from the supporters towards him, and him towards them, there’s a connection there.

“My relationship with him is as strong as it’s been with any player.

“I’ve got a real trust in him as a person as well as my captain and we’re hanging on to that really.

“He’s got a young family and is an ambitious boy, but hopefully he’ll continue to be an Aberdeen player.”

Shinnie wasn’t the only player to shine at McDiarmid Park. Saints star Jason Kerr turned in yet another top defensive display, despite his side’s defeat.

And Perth boss Tommy Wright reckons it’s time his young star was in Scotland contention alongside the Premiership’s other top young centre-halves.

“Jason was outstanding – he has been all year,” said Wright.

“He’s getting stronger, he’s good on the ball, he makes important tackles, stays on his feet – he’ll go a long way.

“It won’t be long before he’s being mentioned in the same breath as McKenna and Souttar. He should be.”

Saints were unable to claw their way back into the top six after dropping out following Hibs’ victory over Dundee on Friday night.

They have now claimed just one point from their last 18.

But Wright is not panicking ahead of Wednesday night’s clash with the Hibees – because his side are creating chances.

“I’d be more worried if the performance was poor,” he said.

“They have to respond though. Maybe they should go out and pick me up on Wednesday night rather than me having to pick them up.

“They fell short today because Aberdeen were more clinical and we made two errors we shouldn’t have.”