DEREK McINNES has praised Steve Robinson, his Motherwell counterpart, for rejecting Aberdeen’s £400,000 summer bid for the prolific goalscorer, Louis Moult, but he’s content that in Stevie May, he’s found the right man up front.

If the Dons manager is frustrated at failing to land Moult with a £400,000 bid, he hides it well, though admires Robinson for sticking to his guns and refusing to budge on the £500,000 valuation he placed on a player who is attracting attention from many quarters.

A comparison of the two strikers will, inevitably, be a talking point when the teams line up in the quarter-final of the Betfred Cup at Fir Park tomorrow night with McInnes hammering home the message to defenders Anthony O’Connor and Kari Arnason that they cannot afford a lapse in concentration when Moult and Ryan Bowman, his partner up front, are anywhere near the penalty area.

Loading article content

May was persuaded to swap Preston for Pittodrie six weeks ago and has grabbed three goals in five appearances. But he may not have become part of McInnes’s re-shaped squad had the Moult transfer gone through.

"I think it was key to hold on to Moult, and Motherwell have done well to do that,” the Aberdeen manager said. "It was good business for them because he is key to the way they want to play the game.

"They engage their centre forwards really quickly then get forward and support with good fitness and physicality about them.

"Steve Robinson has done a good job with them and they are getting more and more confident as their recent results show.

"They will be pleased with their start and they are certainly a team that let you know they are there and we have to be ready for that. In their front two and especially with Moult they have a real goalscoring threat.

"We made an enquiry and put an offer in but it fell short of what Motherwell were looking for, then we moved on.

"They put the offer into the public domain and I had to respond to that but ultimately what we offered wasn't enough.

"Moult and May have different qualities but what you do get from Stevie is someone who is still young and is only going to get better and it's similar with Louis.

"There's been an over-reliance on Adam Rooney for our team in the past and when he was out injured a couple of seasons ago that really impacted on us.

"We recognise the strengths of Rooney and what he can bring to the team but we also recognise there are players to share that burden.”

Midfielder Greg Tansey, he revealed, will be part of his squad at Firhill and beyond, despite him being in need of surgery for a hernia problem.

McInnes said: "He will be available for both Motherwell matches this week and potentially the St Johnstone game depending on how we are fixed with the squad.”