DEJECTED Derek McInnes has admitted it will take a massive collapse from Celtic to allow Aberdeen back into the title race.

The Pittodrie boss didn’t even attempt to put a gloss on last night’s crucial 2-1 loss against Hearts at Tynecastle that left the Dons five points adrift of the champions before the Hoops’ lunchtime encounter against Motherwell at Fir Park today.

McInnes said: “The title’s gone for us, I would imagine. Celtic can only absolutely throw it away and I wouldn’t expect them to now.

“It’s not over, but Celtic will go on, I would imagine, and win the league.”

The Dons gaffer saw Simon Church put his team ahead in Edinburgh before Spanish striker Juanma struck twice to seal the victory for Robbie Neilson’s side.

McInnes added: “The start was brilliant. In the first 25-30 minutes, we should have been out of sight with the opportunities we created. We were making Hearts nervous, we took the sting out of the game, played properly in their half, won headers, won tackles.

“The first is such a cheap goal to give away. When Ozturk steps in, I think we can close him down a wee bit, and a shot from 40 yards, we should be dealing with that one.

“Second-half, we were thinking of ways we could tweak it to get that winning goal and their second is a ridiculous goal to lose at that level. I thought we beat ourselves tonight.”

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