Pittodrie assistant Tony Docherty today claimed Aberdeen have strikers as good as Rangers’ in-form Alfredo Morelos.
And he backed them to hit the goal trail this season, ideally starting away to Rangers at Ibrox tonight.
Docherty vowed the Reds are ready to go “toe-to-toe” and “get in the faces” of Steven Gerrard’s Premiership leaders.
Colombian international Morelos has scored 17 goals this season and netted in seven straight Premiership games for Rangers.
In contrast Aberdeen’s four recognised strikers have hit just seven goals between them this season.
The lack of cutting edge in attack was a major factor in the Dons losing the Betfred Cup final 1-0 to Celtic on Sunday.
Docherty said: “Morelos is doing it for Rangers at the moment as he looks confident, is scoring goals and is enjoying doing that.
“We have strikers as good as that, that just need to get on that run.
“To have that belief that they are going to score one or two goals every game.
“We are not that far away from it and will keep working hard at it.
“We will make sure the striker that is playing gets enough opportunities to score and then hopefully as an individual they step up and take the chances.
“The goals will come. I see it in training every day when we play in games and do crossing and finishing.
“It is goal, goal, goal and it is just about taking it into games.
“Perhaps one of our strikers puts one in in off his backside and he goes on a run of scoring goals.
“We are creating chances and getting into the final third, we just have to take that bit more care. We have to be a bit more clinical, maybe with the final cross, final pass or final shot and try to convert our positive play into goals.”
On loan Manchester United striker James Wilson has netted twice this season, as have Sam Cosgrove and rising star Bruce Anderson.
Stevie May, a £400,000 signing from Preston in summer 2017, has scored just once.
May and Wilson were both dropped to the bench for the Betfred Cup final, with Cosgrove, who has scored only three senior career goals, leading the line.
“All strikers get confident scoring goals and once they are on a scoring run it is hard to get off it,” said Docherty.
“I do feel like we are not far away from one of our strikers doing that.
“We have quality and all different types of strikers in the squad. We are not far away from someone going on that type of run.”
Having lost the Betfred Cup final to Celtic on Sunday, the Dons will complete an Old Firm double header in Glasgow when facing Rangers tonight.
Aberdeen opted to remain in Glasgow following the cup final defeat.
Ibrox gaffer Steven Gerrard spent £10 million on rebuilding Rangers in the summer and they moved top of the table at the weekend.
Aberdeen dumped Rangers 1-0 at Hampden in the Betfred Cup semi-final in October and Docherty is targeting a repeat.
He said: “In our last three performances against Rangers we are undefeated against them with two draws and a win.
“Our last three games against Celtic have been 1-0, where one went our way and two did not.
“There is a real belief that we can go toe-to-toe with the Old Firm. This game at Rangers demands 100% concentration and focus.
“Unfortunately the cup final is gone now and the most important thing is the start of this run in December and the game at Ibrox.
“This game demands the team are the way they were in the cup final – organised, structured, hard-working and in their faces ready to win.”
Aberdeen will play at Ibrox tonight a year to the day since Rangers made an approach to Aberdeen to talk to boss Derek McInnes and No 2 Docherty about their then-vacant managerial position.
Pittodrie chairman Stewart Milne denied permission. McInnes was given time by the Dons to mull over the offer and missed training in the build-up to a game against Dundee.
However, McInnes ultimately shocked the Ibrox board by knocking back their move.
When asked if what has been achieved in the last year, a runners-up final and cup final appearance, vindicated that decision, Docherty said: “We are just fully focused on Aberdeen and an Aberdeen team the fans are proud of.
“The fans are what we do it for. This is a brilliant club with a great chairman and great fans.
“The fans pre match, during the match and post match at the final were outstanding.
“That gives a real strength to the players.
“When you see the fans singing ‘Stand Free’ and applauding the players after the game, that gives us real strength.
“No one wants to lose a cup final, but seeing your fans go shoulder to shoulder with you – that is what this club is. That gives you real strength.
“That was the case on Sunday and we want to make sure that is the case throughout the whole campaign.
“We will strive to do that because we realise how good a club it is. How good the players are and we want to serve it well again.”
Winger Gary Mackay-Steven is ruled out of tonight’s clash with concussion. He was knocked unconscious in a collision of heads with Dedryck Boyata in the final and hospitalised before being released.
Defender Mikey Devlin will be given a late fitness test on the foot ligament injury that ruled him out of the final.