Derek McInnes has lauded Lewis Ferguson for driving Aberdeen on to a draw against Celtic at Pittodrie - and backed the midfielder to play for Scotland in future.

Ferguson opened the scoring with a first-half penalty and then netted from the spot in injury-time in a thrilling Premiership encounter to ensure his side earned a point.

The 21-year-old is currently spearheading the Scotland Under-21 team's bid to reach the European Championship finals next summer - but McInnes believes he is capable of stepping up to the full national team.

"We were driven on by Ferguson," he said. “The boy is fantastic in every aspect. He makes the difference. When the game was subdued, he made a run beyond to get the penalty and takes it himself.

"There was a lot of pressure on that last penalty and he tucked it away nicely. He was driving on us, for somebody so young. We are very fortunate to have him."

McInnes added: “I’m trying to keep Lewis a secret at the minute. I think Fergie will play for Scotland it is just when.

“I am always try to promote my players when I have a conversation with international managers, but I have never been one to try to do that through the press. They have enough on their hands.

“Scotland are blessed with good midfielders and we are very blessed to have Lewis here. But it is only a matter of time before he gets involved in the international set up.

“He is a very important player from the 21s and I believe he will be one of the ones who comes through that group into the full international stage at some point.”

Ryan Edmondson, Dylan McGeouch and Marley Watkins all suffered injuries during the 1-1 draw with Celtic.

McInnes, who fielded striker Sam Cosgrove for the first time this season in the second-half, is hopeful Edmondson and Watkins wil be available for the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against the Parkhead club at Hampden on Sunday.

"We didn’t have our troubles to seek," said McInnes. “Edmondson took a sore one, Marley was feeling his hamstring and we had Dylan and his groin.

"Hopefully Edmondson is okay and we got Marley off in time. Out of the three of them, Dylan is probably the one that will is most likely to miss next week, having overstretched his groin.

“But we will have a few more ready for next week’s game than we did for this one. Mikey Devlin, Curtis Main, Greg Leigh, Sam Cosgrove and Matty Kennedy will be more ready after having another practice match on Tuesday ahead of the game on Sunday."