ABERDEEN boss Derek McInnes took a sideswipe at Celtic when he claimed St Johnstone were more difficult to beat than the champions.

The Pittodrie side, after beating the Hoops 2-1 in midweek, overcame the Perth outfit 4-3 to move level with Ronny Deila’s men at the top of the Premiership.

Celts skipper Scott Brown has already side the four-in-a-row title holders, who have a game in hand over the Dons, are certainties to claim the crown again.

McInnes said: “There was a lot expected of us in what was always going to be the tougher game physically than the Celtic match.

“It was mentally draining for some of them, but we’ve found ways to dig out a result. That’s over three months unbeaten in the league now. People keep saying: ‘Can Aberdeen handle it?’ but the players have been doing it for ages.

“It was important to win in Perth because the script was written if we hadn’t – there’s Aberdeen, they can beat Celtic but drop points in the next game.”

McInnes, though, refused to be drawn into a war of words with Brown, only saying that “everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

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