STEVEN Anderson, the St. Johnstone defender, has dismissed Aberdeen’s prospects of catching Celtic in the Ladbrokes Premiership this season following their emphatic 3-0 victory at McDiarmid Park on Sunday.

Aberdeen had pulled to within a point of the defending Scottish champions with a hard-fought 1-0 win over third-placed Hearts at Pittodrie on Saturday that underlined they have now fully recovered from their dip in form.

However, Ronny Deila’s side, who have a game in hand, moved four ahead of them at McDiarmid Park the following day with a comfortable victory that was recorded thanks to a Nadir Ciftci double and a Dedryck Boyata goal.

Anderson, who was unable to prevent the Perth club from slumping to their first loss in eight competitive outings, feels the Parkhead club will win the top flight title for the fifth season in succession comfortably.

“Celtic are still a good team,” he said. “Some people may say they are not as good as they were but I think they are still a good side. They will win the league.

“I don’t even think they turned it on against us because it was the two corners that killed us. The third goal was really from a counter-attack so I wouldn’t say they were excellent.”

“I don’t think there will be a title race. Their wage structure is massive compared to other teams. Aberdeen are up there with the wages they pay, but Celtic should be winning the league with what they’ve got. It’s really a case of seeing how many points teams can take off them.”

St. Johnstone had a chance to cause an upset against Celtic on Sunday after dominating the first half. But Murray Davidson, David Wotherspoon and Michael O’Halloran all failed to convert the opportunities they created.

Anderson absolved O’Halloran, whose goals have helped St. Johnstone beat Rangers, Morton, Hamilton and Kilmarnock this season, from any blame for the loss and tipped him to put the disappointment behind him next week.

The Glasgow-born forward, who has been linked with moves to both Celtic and Rangers during the January transfer window, was clean through on goal early on and failed to beat Craig Gordon.

“Look, it’s frustrating for us and you were expecting him to score,” he said. “But he has pulled us out trouble so many times this season and been great.

“Michael was excellent for us again and got in behind Celtic with his pace. It was just one of those days and if one goal had gone in that would have given us something to hang on to.”

Anderson added: “We were just hoping that, being at home, we could have got something from the match,” he said. “Every season we seem to do all right against them but maybe it shows how far we have come that we are so disappointed to lose.

“It was a frustrating first half because we didn’t take our chances. If you don’t take them then Celtic are a good enough team to pick you off.

“We lost two bad goals from corners and we are usually quite solid at corners.They were two decent deliveries from (Callum) McGregor, but they were frustrating for us nonetheless. At the second goal I was just above it and I thought I was getting it but it went over my head and Boyata was there to knock it in.”

“It just wasn’t our day and we move on to a big game against Hearts here next week. We will go over the goals we lost on the video and then concentrate on facing Hearts.”