Aberdeen challenge for honours at the end of the season and that was a big draw for me, says GMS

Gary Mackay-Steven with the Scottish Cup. The winger netted twice in the 4-2 defeat of Dundee United.

The opportunity to win silverware was one of the draws that lured Gary Mackay-Steven to Pittodrie.

And now he aims to deliver on that by landing the Scottish Cup.

Winger Mackay-Steven was one of boss Derek McInnes’ main summer signings when completing a £150,000 transfer from Celtic.

The 27-year-old could have stayed at Parkhead and other clubs were chasing his signature.

Celtic offered the chance of silverware but having been part of the Scottish Cup-winning squad who beat Aberdeen last season, the winners’ medal did not have the same sheen.

With the Dons, there was the perfect storm of both a strong opportunity to lift trophies and also be involved heavily in any cup glory.

It was too good a combination to turn down.

Derek McInnes with GMS

Now the winger wants to take another step further to the target of helping the Reds land the Scottish Cup for the first time since 1990 when facing former club Dundee United in the fifth round at Pittodrie tomorrow.

He said: “Aberdeen are a team that challenge for honours at the end of the season and that was a big draw for me.

“I would like nothing better than to win a trophy with Aberdeen – that would be special.

“The club have not won the Scottish Cup in a few years so that is something we are certainly hoping to do.

“A club like Aberdeen should be targeting the Scottish Cup every year.

“There were other options in the summer and I could have stayed (at Celtic) as well.

“However, speaking to the manager Derek McInnes and him wanting me to be a big player at a big club it didn’t take much to convince me to come up.”

Mackay-Steven was on the opposite side of the fence when Celtic overcame the Dons in last year’s final courtesy of an injury-time winner.

However, he can sense within Pittodrie the pain of that last-gasp defeat is driving on his new team-mates to end that 28-year drought.

He said: “I know the boys are even more determined this season to go one better.

“Come the game on Sunday we will be ready to go on that first step to what we want.”

Dundee United have lost valuable ground in the fight for the Championship title and trail league leaders St Mirren by a huge 14 points.

Aberdeen brushed aside the league pace-setting Buddies 4-1 in the previous round.

Last month Dundee United suffered heavy defeats to Falkirk (6-1) and Morton (3-0). But the winger will not underestimate their threat.

He said: “We go into this tie feeling really positive as we are in good form.

“Securing three straight wins over the last week or so will stand us in good stead for facing Dundee United.

“The Scottish Cup is a tournament we want to go very far in, but we are certainly not going to take Dundee United lightly as it will be a big test.

“We have done our homework and will treat them with the same respect we showed to St Mirren and every other team we have played.”

Mackay-Steven netted a sensational goal in the defeat of St Mirren that boss McInnes insisted would not be topped at Pittodrie again this season.

A week later defender Scott McKenna topped it with a 40-yard rocket in the 3-1 defeat of Kilmarnock.

Mackay-Steven said: “It was a nice strike, but as long as they keep going in for Aberdeen at Pittodrie I will be happy.”

Mackay-Steven spent four seasons at Dundee United and played in the 2-0 Scottish Cup final loss to St Johnstone in 2014.

He said: “A lot of the people I played alongside at Dundee United are not there any more.

“I played with Willo Flood (former Aberdeen midfielder) at Tannadice so it will be good to catch up with him.

“Willo is a great guy – a top man on and off the park.

“A few of the younger lads were coming through at Dundee United while I was there, such as Scott Fraser.

“Scott is a great player, but will be injured.

“It will be nice to see old faces such as the physio and the kit man. United will want to show what they can do, but so do we.”

Mackay-Steven and Scotland international Stuart Armstrong left United for Celtic in the 2015 winter window when the Tangerines were riding high in the Premiership and had booked a League Cup final appearance.

He said: “I am a little surprised to see them in the Championship and I am always hopeful they will get promoted.

“However, it is never easy once you find yourself in the Championship as Hibs, Hearts and even Rangers found out. The Championship is a tough league to get out of.

“It is a shame Dundee United are down there, but hopefully they will get up.

“If not this year then hopefully the can come up in the near future.”