Derek McInnes says that the chance to go clear at the top of the league was not a factor as Aberdeen drew at home for the second time in-a-row against a resilient Partick Thistle.

Despite some flurries of pressure, particularly in the opening quarter of an hour, the home side could not overcome Alan Archibald’s well-organised unit, but McInnes insisted after the match that the pressure to overtake Celtic at the top was not the reason behind his players’ inability to convert their dominance into goals.

He said: “I don’t think there’s anxiety, there’s an eagerness to win the game. We said to the players at half-time, we’ve got to deal with the expectation and with the demand to win the game.

“It doesn’t matter if there’s a chance to go top, at any time there is a demand here at Pittodrie to win the game. It’s the nature of it.

“There’s no problem with us being at home, we’ve had worse than that here (from the crowd). We’ve got good players here who are hurting because we’ve not won the game, but we know how to deal with certain situations and home or away we always try to win the game.

“We’re disappointed and we’ve got a dressing room full of disappointed players. It wasn’t the result we were looking for.

“We knew it was going to be tough tonight. We were coming up against a team that has come up here in good form, and similar to the Inverness game we were up against a team that had to be overcome and who played their part in it.

“We started well but towards the end of the first half we were too pedestrian in our play. The pitch didn’t help both sets of players. It affected players who like to run with the ball, and players weren’t trusting it. Instead of putting their foot through the ball they were taking that extra touch and it was a difficult surface to play on.

“I thought we were the better team and we kept a good Thistle team at arm’s length. Some of our play was decent tonight but it just wasn’t enough to win the game.

“We’re joint-top of the league at the turn of the year. We’re not clear in the league which is where we wanted to be after the last couple of games, but you don’t need to look too far back when people would have been jumping all over that. We need to remind ourselves of that.”

You would have got long odds on Aberdeen failing to score in this one early in the match, as a fired-up Jonny Hayes tormented the visiting defence and Graeme Shinnie crashed a shot off the crossbar in an initial onslaught on Tomas Cerny’s goal.

Partick Thistle settled into the match though, and it wasn’t long before Aberdeen were ruing their failure to turn their early dominance into a lead as the visitors began to look more comfortable and Aberdeen increasingly looked short of ideas on how to break them down.

The second half continued in much the same fashion, and when Aberdeen did crank up the pressure and break through the industrious Thistle ranks, they found themselves coming up against a defiant defensive triumvirate of Cerny, Liam Lindsay and Dan Seaborne that would just not be breached.

That being said, Adam Rooney and Shinnie both passed up good opportunities late on to claim the points, their inability to produce a finish wholly in-keeping with the lack of quality on show from the hosts for long spells of the game.

Substitute Mathias Pogba pulled the visitors’ best chance of the match wide at the other end with around ten minutes to go, but it would have been harsh on Aberdeen, if not wholly surprising, had the Firhill men pulled off the sucker punch.

There was worse news for Aberdeen after the match, as McInnes revealed that Ryan Jack will be out for at least six weeks after tearing a hamstring.

It might not have been the historic fifth win in-a-row for Thistle, but claiming a point at the home of their high-flying hosts might just feel like a victory after they pulled off their game-plan to perfection.

Contrary to Aberdeen manager McInnes’s assertions, visiting goalkeeper Cerny, whose handling was outstanding throughout, said that playing on the expectations of the home crowd helped them to frustrate their opponents.

“It’s great to keep a clean sheet up here,” he said.

“I think what helped us tonight was the pressure on the Aberdeen players, and I can sympathise with them because it can’t be easy. It’s great to have a big crowd but at the same time the expectations are really high.

"They had the opportunity to go top if they won the game ahead of Celtic, but on heavy pitches it’s difficult to play your own game and that obviously helped us.

“That takes nothing away from the fantastic performance we put in.

“You could sense them getting more anxious. When Aberdeen play at home they are expected to win, so if they don’t score they get more anxious as the game progresses and it becomes more difficult.”

Aberdeen: Ward; Logan, Taylor, Reynolds, Shinnie; Jack (Pawlett, 65’); Flood, McLean; McGinn (Smith, 83’), Hayes, Rooney.

Booked: McLean (43’)

Partick Thistle: Cerny; Dumbuya, Seaborne, Lindsay, Booth; Osman, Bannigan; Edwards (Pogba, 76’), Lawless, Amoo (Wilson, 94’); Doolan.

Booked: Lindsay (14’), Amoo (45’), Osman (58’)

Referee: Kevin Clancy Attendance: 12,583