Derek McInnes: Dons can win Scottish Cup this year

Derek McInnes

Dons boss Derek McInnes believes Aberdeen can lift the Scottish Cup this year for the first time since 1990.

The Dons lost 2-1 to Celtic in the final last season and McInnes reckons his side are strong enough to go one better this time.

However, he insists the Dons will take nothing for granted in a tough fifth round derby tie
against Dundee United tomorrow.

McInnes said: “I feel this is a tournament we can win this year. “We always target both cups.

“However, with the Scottish Cup there is a natural appeal to do well and hopefully we can have a really good campaign in it.

“Hopefully we can go all the way.”

Aberdeen suffered Scottish Cup final heartache last season when an injury-time goal from Tom Rogic secured the trophy, and the treble, for Celtic at Hampden.

McInnes wants the memory of that “bitter disappointment” and lessons learned from another major final to propel them to trophy glory in May.

“That bitter disappointment is something that you need to sometimes go through to come out the other end,” he said.

“You need to familiarise yourself with finals and there is nothing wrong with looking at the bigger picture.

“The end game for us hopefully is to get another opportunity to run out at another cup final and perform.

“Hopefully we can go all the way and then that big game experience will help as we were at Hampden four times last season.

“We won two semi-finals and lost two finals, but the experience of handling an occasion like that doesn’t do the players any harm.

“But first things first. without looking too far ahead of ourselves, we have to negotiate a tough game.”

Dundee United sit second in the Championship table but are 14 points behind leaders St Mirren, having played two games less.

Aberdeen beat the Buddies 4-1 in the previous round of the Scottish Cup.

McInnes, a former Tangerines skipper, said: “I anticipate a tough game.

“Aberdeen and Dundee United has always been a game that is eagerly anticipated by supporters, players and staff alike.

“Dundee United have a lot to offer, but they find themselves outwith the top flight and have to find a way to get back in.”

McInnes spent three years at Dundee United and started the 1-0 Scottish Cup final loss to Celtic in 2005.

He said: “Dundee United have always been a more than capable club and side.

“Having played there and captained the club I know how important success is to the supporters there.

“However, we are at home and in good form.

“With the way the players are training and performing I can see the motivation to do well is there.

“Hopefully that all plays out.”

Striker Stevie May is in contention to return from an ankle injury tomorrow.

May has returned to training having missed the last four games.

Keeper Joe Lewis is sidelined having undergone knee ligament surgery.