Derek McInnes says Greg Stewart chose Aberdeen over Kilmarnock

Stewart made his first appearance of his second Aberdeen spell in the 1-1 draw with Stenhousemuir
Stewart made his first appearance of his second Aberdeen spell in the 1-1 with draw Stenhousemuir

Aberdeen feel "absolutely fine" with Greg Stewart's loan and the forward simply chose not to return to Kilmarnock, says manager Derek McInnes.

Killie boss Steve Clarke said the deal was "bull****" and "had a slightly strange smell" after the 28-year-old opted not to return to Rugby Park.

But McInnes says the decision to move to Pittodrie from Birmingham for the rest of the season was down to Stewart.

"Greg decided he wanted to come to us," McInnes said.

"Just to take away any doubt about how it all played out, we asked the question about a permanent deal for Greg and it became clear that it was going to just be a loan.

"We were asked to submit our best offer by lunchtime Friday, which we did do. Then we were told Kilmarnock matched the offer, and it was up to the player."

Stewart spent last season on loan at Pittodrie - scoring just three times in 34 appearances - often playing out wide.

But he had enjoyed a good run of form with Kilmarnock in a central role in the first half of the season before being recalled by his club Birmingham on 11 January, hitting the net eight times in 17 games.

"He did play in the number 10 position a lot for us but, he came to us unfit by his own admission," McInnes said. "Ryan Christie was winning the fight to play in that position."

"There was always a feeling it could have went better for both of us. From our side of it, we felt we wanted to get more out of Greg and, likewise, from Greg himself.

"Now we've got him it's important we get the best out of him. And we'll see what happens come the end of the season."

Aberdeen are the latest club to be linked with a loan move for Celtic winger Lewis Morgan, but McInnes refused to comment on the speculation.

'We should have a top flight of grass pitches'

Following a 1-1 draw with League One strugglers Stenhousemuir in the Scottish Cup fourth round, Aberdeen face Hamilton in the Premiership on Wednesday.

Mark Reynolds is fit to play for the first time this season after injuring his knee in a pre-season friendly against Cove Rangers, and the defender cited the plastic pitch as the root cause of his ligament damage.

McInnes confirmed they will not risk the defender on the artificial pitch at Hope Stadium.

"We can all understand the bitterness and anger he [Reynolds] has towards it because we all feel it was maybe a bigger part to play than the challenge itself," he said.

"I feel Astroturf pitches should be for other clubs not in the Premiership. That's my own personal taste. We should have a top-flight with grass pitches."

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