Dons boss Derek McInnes believes drawing with Celtic will only increase the belief in his side they can beat Rangers in the Scottish Cup.
Aberdeen drew 0-0 with the champions at Parkhead on Saturday and tomorrow they face the Gers at Ibrox in the Scottish Cup quarter-final replay.
Saturday’s result, combined with two 1-0 wins over Steven Gerrard’s side – at Ibrox in the Premiership and Hampden in the League Cup semi-final – indicates to McInnes his Reds have the belief to triumph in Govan tomorrow.
The Pittodrie gaffer said: “We were quite relaxed coming into the (Celtic) game.
“Before it everyone was speaking about these two games in Glasgow and how difficult they are.
“The majority wouldn’t give us much chance at Parkhead and Ibrox, but we see it as brilliant games to be involved in.
“When you come up against Celtic and Rangers, who have bigger squads and bigger resources, you can be stretched and feel that.
“You’ve also got to remind yourself they are brilliant teams to bring your game into.
“There were a lot of young players out there and they will have even more belief for Tuesday if they need it because we’ve won against Rangers twice in Glasgow and we want to get the club into a semi-final, as difficult as that will be.”
Striker Sam Cosgrove, who has bagged 18 goals this season, misses tomorrow’s game with suspension having collected two bookings earlier in the Scottish Cup campaign.
That leaves McInnes with a dilemma over who starts up front.
Manchester United loanee James Wilson started against Celtic playing off Cosgrove, but was subbed at half-time, while Stevie May was a late sub and headed a chance narrowly over late on against the Hoops.
McInnes does hope to have wingers Gary Mackay-Steven and Niall McGinn available to play some part against Rangers after both couldn’t feature at Parkhead due to knocks.
When asked about Wilson coming off, McInnes said: “He’s fine, the initial plan was try to get forward thinking players in and Graeme Shinnie in support of Cosgrove.
“I just felt we needed a bit more control of the game and Dean Campbell (who replaced Wilson) being a natural central midfielder allowed Shinnie and Lewis Ferguson to get forward.
“That helped us. It was no reflection on James, I just felt we needed another midfielder.
“He’s fine. We’ve got a decision to make with what we do at centre forward with Sam Cosgrove being out for the Rangers game.
“Hopefully Niall McGinn and Gary Mackay-Steven will come into things and give us another couple of options.
“We were probably a wide player short against Celtic, we wanted them even to be on the bench. Those two have always been important players so hopefully we can get them back for tomorrow.”
Reflecting on the draw with Celtic, McInnes felt a draw was a fair result, but had hoped to see more from his team in attack.
He said: “I thought we were comfortable in the game in terms of our defensive work being so good.
“We spoke about that at the start of the game – the initial game plan was to have enough speed behind Sam Cosgrove.
“I do feel when you come to Parkhead you have to have a way of playing when you win the ball, you have to pass and make Celtic think twice about committing bodies forward.
“We didn’t get enough in the first half in attack and I was a bit frustrated at half-time.
“But we spoke about it and I thought our defensive work was good.
“I can’t remember too many opportunities for Celtic.
“In the second half Edouard gets away from McKenna for the only time in the game – but sometimes that’s enough – and Joe Lewis made a fantastic save.
“Other than that I can’t remember Joe having too much to do other than crosses.
“I was really pleased with the diligence and determination in one v one situations and I think Max Lowe epitomised that.
“As a young boy at 20 he is up against James Forrest, one of the best players playing in our country.
“He dealt with him first half and then has to deal with Oliver Burke in the second half.
“He then has to deal with Timothy Weah when he came on fresh, and Max dealt with him.
“I think that epitomised that whatever Celtic threw at us we saw it off.
“We did have chances, albeit Celtic had the bulk of the game and more possession.
“We wanted to have more attacking threat and we spoke about that at half-time – we needed that from Cosgrove, Stewart and McLennan.
“We got ourselves into good positions and made Bain work a bit and made Celtic defend a bit more in the second half.
“We both had chances to win it and I think a draw was a fair result.”