THOSE who predicted that Aberdeen would struggle to retain their status as the second best club in the country following the departure of Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn in the summer failed to take one thing into account.

Namely, that the Pittodrie club had the precociously gifted Scott Wright waiting to come in and take their places out wide.

Wright was given a chance to justify the considerable hype which surrounds him by yesterday as his manager Derek McInnes made four changes in the wake of a draining Europa League qualifier in Cyprus on Thursday evening.

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The 19-year-old, who had impressed after coming on as a second half substitutes in both matches against Apollon Limassol, was handed his first start of the season on the left wing as Gary Mackay-Steven was rested.

He didn’t disappoint. The home team may have squandered a glut of scoring chances to make their opening 2-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win of the new campaign at home to Hamilton a more anxious afternoon than it needed to be.

Yet, Wright, who sprang to prominence at the end of last term when he netted a hat-trick in a 6-0 demolition of Partick Thistle, could be absolved from any blame.

He was a handful for a robust visiting defence throughout a one-sided 90 minutes with his trickery and strongly suggested he is, despite his tender years, capable of establishing himself in the Aberdeen first team in the coming months and realising his enormous potential. Certainly, McInnes, who was relieved to see his side win their opening league game thanks to a first-half Anthony O’Connor header and a late strike by substitute Miles Storey, believes he is capable of becoming an even better footballer than his revered predecessors Hayes and McGinn. “I see a difference in him,” he said of a player who will turn 20 tomorrow. “He has taken a lot of confidence from the Partick game last season. But even in the weeks before that I could sense “He has watched Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn be our wide players for the last four years or so so it has been difficult getting him in. It was unrealistic to expect them to be at their level when he is 17, 18 , 19, but he has the potential to be that and more. We feel he is someone who will get better with game time.

“He is really friendly with Ryan Christie. I think with Ryan being in the team and Scott getting confidence from playing with certain players that he is only going to get better. His team mates all trust him. As a one-to-one wide player who can commit people he is exciting to watch and work with.”

Hamilton had Xavier Tomas, the French centre half who was making his league debut yesterday, sent off in the second half for a second bookable offence. But Martin Canning, their manager, was disappointed with the performance of referee Euan Anderson. Canning said: “I didn’t see the red card. If he has pulled him back then it’s a second yellow and a red. But I would say the referee was very inconsistent.

“He booked (Georgios) Sarris for persistent fouling, but (Graeme) Shinnie must have made five or six fouls. If that’s not persistent, then I don’t know what is.”