Derek McInnes urges Aberdeen to exploit Celtic vulnerability at set-pieces

The Dons boss believes Neil McGinn’s delivery from free-kicks can cause the Hoops a problem.

By Press Association Published: 26 February 2021 - 5.02pm

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has urged his team to make the most of set-pieces when they visit Celtic Park for the second time in 10 days.

The Dons had some good moments in a 1-0 defeat at Parkhead last week but McInnes was frustrated they did not capitalise on crosses into the box.

Celtic showed their ongoing vulnerability at set-plays when Jordan White scored with a free header following a free-kick in a 1-0 defeat against Ross County on Sunday, which prompted Neil Lennon’s departure as manager.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen broke a six-game scoring duck when Callum Hendry came off the bench to head a winner from Niall McGinn’s free-kick against Kilmarnock the previous day.

McInnes said: “I spoke about positives from the game last week but that was the disappointment, that we had umpteen crosses and numerous set-plays going in, and we never took full advantage of it.

“More from our point of view, in terms of the size in the team, and that we have got players like McGinn, who can produce that delivery.

“Saturday showed the importance of that, a good set-piece goal that every team needs to carry a threat from. Saturday will be no different from any other game that we try to carry a threat from open play and set-plays.”

Hendry is set to have a bigger influence on Aberdeen’s run-in than might have been anticipated after fellow loan striker Fraser Hornby suffered a significant tear in his thigh.

The 23-year-old had a good scoring rate for St Johnstone last season, hitting nine goals in 27 appearances, of which only nine were starts.

Last Saturday’s goal was his first in the league this season and McInnes hopes it can kick-start a run.

“For strikers, it’s so important they get their goals,” McInnes said.

“You can bang on about the merits of every performance. Callum is very hard-working, very honest, very eager to make his mark here, and that pleases me. Coming on and getting that goal will do him no harm at all.

“I like Callum, I think he’s a good competitor, a good mover, and when we have played against him, I always felt he was one we had to be mindful of if he gets good service.”

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