Derek McInnes has praised the influence of Funso Ojo after his return to first-team action for Aberdeen against Hamilton.

The Dons ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a Sam Cosgrove winner in the second half. It lifted them back into third ahead of Motherwell’s match with Rangers and the trip to Celtic.

McInnes’ Aberdeen beat Accies with the help of Ojo. (Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

It also welcomed a return to action for McInnes’ Belgian summer signing and he thought the enforcer was terrific.

“There was an element of risk to starting to Funso, in terms of is he going to be sharp enough,” McInnes explained to the Aberdeen website. “I have watched him all week in training and he has been my best player.

“You can either play football or you cannot, and the boy can play. He clearly has an influence on my side, and we have missed that influence. When he came off, I felt we didn’t have the same control. I still thought we carried some threat, but I don’t think that we had the same control in the game.

Ojo arrived from Scunthorpe. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

“Between him and Bryson we have been a midfielder short all season. Hopefully by the turn of the year we will have Bryson and Funso back for us and I think we will be a better team for it.”

Ojo hasn’t been seen in Aberdeen action for months

Prior to the Accies appearance, the defensive midfielder was last seen in Aberdeen red during a 1-1 draw with St Johnstone back in September. Ojo lasted 46 minutes on his return.

It’s a positive that he’s got back in the fold so soon after returning to training. Whether McInnes will be able to get another effective performance off him next weekend at Parkhead remains to be seen.

Ojo could feature against Celtic (Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

McInnes will be going into that game with vengeance surely on his mind. After a 4-0 dismantlement last time out, Aberdeen will want to prove a point against the Hoops.

If fit, Ojo will surely play a part in that.

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