Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes savours Scottish League Cup win over St Johnstone
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes heaped praise on his players after their 4-0 win over St Johnstone.
Last Updated: 01/02/14 6:53pm
Two goals from Jonny Hayes and strikes from Peter Pawlett and Adam Rooney earned the Dons a place in the Scottish League Cup final, where they will face the winners of Sunday's contest between Hearts and Inverness.
Aberdeen have been losing semi-finalists five times in as many seasons, but McInnes was delighted to see his side match the expectations of their fans at Tynecastle.
McInnes said: "Obviously we can't affect what's happened in the past, whether it's history that was good or disappointments.
"This is our team's first chance of a final together and they have done it and they deserve great credit for that, regardless of what's happened previously at Aberdeen.
"They have a fantastic work ethic and a great spirit and they have a great winning mentality. They now have a chance to lift a trophy which is a fantastic opportunity and we look forward to it.
"A lot of questions are always asked about Aberdeen teams - when the level of support that we got today and when expectation comes, that we fall short. And I think that's unfair to put that on these players.
"The players responded the right way. They have been consistent all season and have handled tough ties in the cup."
Captain Russell Anderson added: "It means an awful lot to an awful lot of people, who work at the club and support the club.
"It's well documented that it's a long time since the club made a final but I think that's key - we have only made a final, we haven't won it yet.
"We will enjoy it tonight and I'm sure the fans will enjoy it but it's back to business on Monday to prepare for the Celtic game."
Aberdeen were under pressure for much of the first half after Hayes had fired them into a third-minute lead, and McInnes added: "I thought we managed the game far better in the second half than the first.
"We got off to a fantastic start but it was almost as if St Johnstone scored, we invited so much trouble into our box, giving away needless fouls and a bit too frantic.
"The second half was far more controlled, I thought we were outstanding in the second half and played with a lot of confidence and intelligence."
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright was left to reflect on what might have been after his side failed to convert pressure into goals in the opening half.
"I felt we put a lot into the game and ended up with nothing," the Saints boss said. "The 4-0 scoreline is extremely harsh on the players because I thought we played extremely well.
"After the first goal we did dominate possession and put Aberdeen under a lot of pressure but just didn't have that killer ball.
"But we gave the ball away cheaply and they countered on us, and they were clinical.
"Even at 2-0 I thought we were very much in the game based on how we had played. We hit the bar and then we give away possession again and they counter on us and we are 3-0 down and there's no way back from that against a side like Aberdeen."