DEREK McINNES insisted Kris Boyd’s derogatory comments about his players did not act as motivation for a comfortable victory in Ayrshire.

However, he did confirm that the striker declined his invitation to enter the Aberdeen dressing room.

Boyd had reiterated his assertion that Graeme Shinnie and Kenny McLean were not worthy of inclusion in Malky Mackay’s Scotland squad for the friendly with the Netherlands earlier this month.

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So it was somewhat ironic that these two players combined for the opening goal before a minute had been played.

Stevie May’s deflected header had the Dons two ahead in 12 minutes and while Jordan Jones – later sent off – pulled one back Killie May made sure with a great goal 15 minutes from time.

The result closes the gap on Celtic to three points as Aberdeen now set their sights on a double header with Rangers.

McInnes said: “Kris walked past our dressing room at the start of the game and I tried to drag him in but he said ‘I’m not going in there.’

“I’ve no problem with what he said even if I don’t agree with it but there wasn’t any extra added motivation to do well because of that.

“Whether the players spoke about it I don’t know but my motivation was to bounce back from last week’s defeat and take the three points.

“Scoring two early goals put the pressure on Kilmarnock.

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“That’s 10 wins and two draws in our last 12 away games which shows a good focus and a good level of performance from us. I’m disappointed not to keep a clean sheet but pleased with the three points.

“We are a team that’s capable of going on winning runs and hopefully this is the start of another one.”

Boyd had barely taken his seat on the bench – for tactical reasons according to Steve Clarke – when Aberdeen roared into the lead.

Shinnie supplied the pass and McLean drove into the box to slam a low right foot shot past unprotected Jamie MacDonald.

Aberdeen effectively had the game won after 12 minutes although there was an element of fortune about the second goal.

Kirk Broadfoot almost rugby-tackled Gary Mackay-Steven to concede a free kick 35 yards out and was booked by Steven McLean.

Greg Tansey picked out Stevie May with the free kick and May’s header firstly hit Broadfoot then O’Donnell before flying into the net.

McInnes felt Aberdeen should have had a third goal a minute into the second half when May swept home Mackay-Steven’s cross but the winger was flagged for offside.

Then his goalkeeper Joe Lewis offered some unexpected help to Kilmarnock when he completely misjudged a shot from Jones in 67 minutes that he should have dealt with comfortably.

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It gave the Ayrshire side a lifeline where there should not have been one. However, May eased any anxiety 15 minutes from time.

Latching onto Andrew Considine’s long ball forward, he succeeded in deceiving both Broadfoot and Gordon Greer to drive a low right foot shot into the left corner.

Jones, having been booked in 66 minutes for dissent, was sent off in the final minute when he was late in challenging Shay Logan.

McInnes added: “Stevie needed that. I can dress it up and say he’s still contributing and making good runs but a centre forward needs his goals and doesn’t feel as good about himself unless he’s scoring.

“He’s got our last touch for the second goal that’s come off their boy, he’s got his six-yard goal that should have stood and he’s got his individual goal. So he’s that away from a hat-trick.

“He’s somebody who you always feel has goals in him and I think when we get to the end of the season he’ll be happy with his contribution.”

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke was at a loss to explain his side’s dreadful opening to the game.

“It was a very bad start. It was game over after ten minutes.

"There was no point thinking about trying to get back into it after a start like that. It was a really slow start, we didn't get out of the traps and the game was over after ten minutes. You can't give good teams like that a two-goal start.

"I don't what caused the bad start. You guys have seen us play over recent weeks - there had been no sign of anything like that. It's a big mystery.”