Sep 18 2009 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
DEREK McInnes has seen his SPL newcomers earn plaudits for their adventurous approach to life in the top flight.
But with a trip to Easter Road looming tomorrow, he freely admits he’d settle for a scrappy one-nil win to secure the first three-point haul of the campaign.
The Perth manager – pictured left – has been delighted with performance levels in the opening phase but that first win has proved elusive, with draws posted against Motherwell, Hearts and St Mirren.
It’s another away day and the first trip to Easter Road for seven years. Saints will retrace their steps on Tuesday for the Co-operative Insurance Cup tie.
“We are looking strong and fit and showing real belief.
“There is a sense of frustration but it’s important we don’t get too downhearted at not posting the first win or picking up the points we have deserved,” he said.
“The mentality we have shown so far will keep us in the league.
“It’s nice to have plaudits for our play and we are creating chances. But it can be interpreted as being patronising and we are beyond that stage at this club.We don’t want to become known as a team which has been unlucky and deserves more.
McInnes is well aware Easter Road is a challenging venue, with Hibs smarting after losing at Hamilton last weekend.
But he’s likely to trust to the energy and mobility of players like Murray Davidson, Chris Millar, Collin Samuel and ex-Hibee Filipe Morais to claim the points.
“Hibs will be disappointed with last week’s result but we are aware of their qualities. But we have to punish teams when we are on top.
“I’d sacrifice all the good performances for an average one and three points.
“We are here to win games, although I’d love to do it with a decent performance as well. But results are the most important thing in this business.”
Last term Saints posted a bundle of draws en route to the title but McInnes admitted: “We are in totally different company this season.
“But we couldn’t have done much more in terms of performance to claim a win.
“You analyse every game, especially ones you don’t win, but concern would be the wrong word. We are creating chances to win games and I’m not worried.
“As I said earlier in the week, the players are determined not to let anyone down and they should be proud of their efforts so far.
“But let’s start getting wins.”
Kenny Deuchar and Gary Irvine had injury scares in the closed doors game with Dundee United but McInnes said both would train today after treatment to ankle injuries. Skipper Kevin Rutkiewicz has been given the go-ahead to resume full training with the squad on Monday.
Stuart McCaffrey, the first McInnes signing and a defender handed an extended contract in the summer, returns to his football roots this weekend.
He was with Hibs from 14 to 19, before moving to Aberdeen.
He said: “It was a long time ago but I owe Hibs a debt of gratitude for giving me such a good start to my career.
“Alex Miller was manager back then and he gave me my first team debut against Celtic in a cup game at Parkhead when I was 17.
“It was my first full season and it was a real thrill as a Celtic fan growing up to play at Parkhead against guys like Paulo di Canio and Jorge Cadete. We lost 2-0.
“I was too young to be nervous. It was a fantastic experience. I have good memories from my time with Hibs.”
Unsung hero McCaffrey’s calming influence in the team has been highlighted by McInnes.
The defender said: “We have settled in well in the SPL. I knew what to expect and there’s a fine line between success and failure.
“The bigger pitches suit our style and we are producing some nice football.
“At times we are almost 4-3-3. We have shown we can hold our own.”