Derek McInnes is delighted with the character and perseverance shown by Sam Cosgrove to become Aberdeen’s main man.
And the Dons boss hopes the big striker can fire his side into a Scottish Cup final.
The Reds meet Celtic at Hampden in the last four of the tournament with a place in next month’s final at stake.
Having hit 20 goals this season Cosgrove could have a key role to play against the Hoops.
At 22 he is the youngest Aberdeen striker to hit the net 20 times in a campaign since 19-year-old Eric Black in the 1982-83 season.
Among Black’s counters was the opener in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final against Real Madrid in Gothenburg and the only goal in the Scottish Cup final against Rangers.
Cosgrove won’t get to grace a European final but if the Dons can get past Celtic tomorrow the Red Army will hope he can emulate Black and score in the Scottish Cup final against Hearts or Inverness.
After a slow scoring start to the season Cosgrove hit seven goals in five games in December to kick-start his campaign.
Gaffer McInnes said: “That is good company (youngest since Black to get 20 goals) and it’s his first full season with us and his first full season as a professional really.
“It says a lot about him and his temperament to do that.
“It’s not easy being Aberdeen’s No 9 and having the expectation to go and get goals.
“He’s managed to deal with that and there are more goals in him.
“Hopefully he can get a few more important ones for us in the next few games.
“I’m delighted for him and what he’s done because he’s shown the perseverance and strength required to be a footballer.”
Prior to his purple patch in December Cosgrove had only hit two goals this term.
Although the former Carlisle man is not short of self-confidence McInnes admits he started scoring at an important time to boost belief.
He added: “I think Sam has always been a confident boy, but goals certainly add to that as a striker.
“I can’t give him that and he can’t just become confident like that.
“When you score goals you are confident and you feel you can’t miss.
“That’s when your enjoy the responsibility of scoring goals and the adulation of scoring goals.
“He has, in a short period of time, over the last four or five months accumulated a lot of different types of goals and led the line brilliantly.”
McInnes kept faith with Cosgrove and he believes a lot was expected of the frontman simply because of his size.
At six foot three some expected him to be a battering ram and be completely dominant in the air.
But McInnes says that sometimes size is irrelevant and it comes down to good movement, which Cosgrove showed to get his second in last weekend’s 2-0 win at Dundee.
He said: “Playing him showed faith in him and I can say why he was important to the team and say what his role was for the team during that period.
“But there becomes a point where you can only continue that for so long if he’s not scoring.
“It was important that he was getting chances to score.
“Everybody thinks because he is six foot three he will just be scoring goals in the air.
“But you saw his movement last Saturday against Dundee and he was moving short, long and buying that extra yard against defenders.
“I always say to him ‘think like a five foot eight striker in the box’.
“You don’t just want to be depending on headers because of your size.
“Obviously it comes into play when you’re taller against centre-halves and he can peel on to full-backs as well. But sometimes height advantage isn’t one and it’s just about movement.
“I think Sam’s movement has been good in giving himself chances to score goals and none more so than last Saturday.”