Aberdeen: Derek McInnes says Dons 'can't finish first' if Celtic 'keep doing their job'

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Highlights: Celtic 0-1 Aberdeen

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes believes toppling Scottish champions Celtic remains beyond his side if the Glasgow giants "keep doing their job well".

And he admits that remaining 'best of the rest' - after four straight second-place finishes - will only get harder.

McInnes expects Rangers, Hibernian and Hearts to all improve next season as the battle behind Celtic intensifies.

"I would love £30m or £40m and try to deliver first place," said the Dons boss after their 1-0 win at Celtic.

"We can't deliver first at the minute, I don't think, if Celtic keep doing their job well - and they are doing their job well.

"But for us to break the 70-point barrier four years in a row; nobody has done that for a long time so that consistency is really pleasing and we can only look after our own."

McInnes' five full seasons at Aberdeen
SeasonPositionPointsGap to Celtic (pts)
2017-18Second739
2016-17Second7630
2015-16Second7115
2014-15Second7517
2013-14Third6831

Aberdeen secured their first league victory at Celtic Park since October 2004, ending a run of 25 straight league defeats at the venue, as well as a 10-match losing run to the champions since February 2016.

It ensured they finished runners-up for a fourth consecutive year, a source of comfort to McInnes as he surveyed the challenge facing his side next season.

"I expect Hibs to improve, Hearts to maybe go again and with Rangers, you would expect their improvement to be more each year if they make good decisions," he added.

"From the outside, [the appointment of] Steven Gerrard looks a good decision. He is an impressive guy and if they get the funds and use their funds wisely then they should be 10-15 points clear of Aberdeen and Hibs.

"The fact that we have done our job well gives us a lot of satisfaction."