DEREK MCINNES admitted Aberdeen were forced to dig deep to beat bottom-placed Inverness 1-0.
Ash Taylor struck the winner in the 22nd minute as the Dons moved 13 points clear of third-placed Rangers in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Aberdeen boss McInnes said: “I think we thoroughly deserved all three points. It wasn’t easy – a combination of a few things meant there wasn’t the same flow to our game.
“Inverness set up with two up front so they always had an out ball and they were very competitive. They restricted our space but when we did find space and got moving, we looked like we could get a second goal.
“They did very well. I do think they’ve got enough to get themselves away from the bottom of the table, but there’s no doubt we deserved the win.”
Aberdeen’s next outing is against Rangers at Pittodrie on Sunday.
McInnes added: “It’s important to keep winning as many games as we can. If you’d said going into this game against Rangers we’d be 10 or 13 points clear of them, we’d be delighted.
“I’ll watch them tomorrow night, but we’ll be ready whatever team they pick. We’re looking forward to the game. It’s always eagerly anticipated by the fans and hopefully it’ll be a good game for us.”
Inverness manager Richie Foran conceded his side looked jaded, but still feels there is much to be positive about as they prepare to face fourth-placed St Johnstone on Saturday.
“I thought we looked a bit tired if I’m being honest,” Foran, whose side are two points behind second-bottom Hamilton, said.
“Aberdeen looked fresher. You can see they’re a team playing with confidence and belief. We lacked a small bit of belief in front of goal, and a bit of bravery defending set-pieces.
“I’m sitting here disappointed, but we won’t play Aberdeen again. We’ve got seven games against teams around us which we can win. We’ll pick ourselves up because it’s not matches like this we’ll be judged on.
“We’ve had a couple of tough games, but we’re excited about the prospect of facing St Johnstone at home. We beat them earlier in the season and it really took off for us. We didn’t have the belief tonight, but we’ll see it again on Saturday.
“We’ve got a good squad to pick from now with players coming back from injury. I want to see a spark in training on Thursday and Friday, and I believe I’ll get that.”
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