Lewis Ferguson will be on a double mission in next week’s Scottish Cup replay with Rangers.
The midfielder is desperate to secure a semi-final berth for Aberdeen, as well as regaining the upper hand when it comes to banter with Gers-supporting friends.
After Sunday’s 1-1 draw with the Govan team at Pittodrie, the Dons will head for Glasgow a week today to try to book a last-four clash with Celtic at Hampden on the weekend of April 13 or 14. In the other semi, Partick Thistle or Hearts – who last night drew 1-1 at Firhill – will meet Inverness Caley Thistle.
Setting up the Hoops clash is motivation enough for Ferguson, but the son of former Rangers midfielder Derek is also hoping to help the Reds progress to allow him to one up his mates.
The 19-year-old said: “There always is banter before these types of games.
“Members of my family and friends are all big supporters of Rangers so there is always a bit of banter. It’s just funny really between me and my pals and we have a laugh.
“But I’m looking forward to the replay and trying to put one over them next week.
“When we won two games earlier in the season I was giving them stick.
“But they came up to Pittodrie in February and beat us 4-2 so I had to take it on the chin.
“They had their right to give me a bit of stick – but it’s all fun at the end of the day.”
Ferguson felt the Dons deserved to win Sunday’s tie, and having won 1-0 at Ibrox in the Premiership in December, and by the same score in the League Cup semi-final in October, he insists the Dons aren’t short of confidence for the replay.
He added: “Scott McKenna and Andy Considine kept Alfredo Morelos very quiet and Dom Ball and Max Lowe kept the two wingers very quiet.
“We’re going to go down to Ibrox full of confidence because we won down there last time.
“We went there in the league and came out with a game plan which got us three points.
“This time we’re hoping to go down there and put ourselves in a semi-final.
“We’ve beaten them at Hampden and Ibrox and they were two massive games.
“In both those games it was 1-0 and it shows that all it really takes is one chance to get the win.
“Something you also need to do is keep a clean sheet and I thought on Sunday there was just one second where we lacked a bit of concentration.
“That was just that split second which allowed Worrall to get his goal.
“But a clean sheet is something we are going to need when we go down to Ibrox.”
Aberdeen took an early lead on Sunday courtesy of Sam Cosgrove’s penalty, but they were pegged back just after half-time.
Joe Worrall volleyed home for the Gers at a corner – he was free after Ferguson and Cosgrove collided with each other. The incident pains Ferguson as it was the only clear chance Steven Gerrard’s men had – and he reckons a similar performance will be required next week at Ibrox to seal a semi-final spot.
The ex-Hamilton player said: “There was a mix-up between myself and Sam Cosgrove for their equaliser.
“We watched the video back after the game and he was going round the back post.
“Then as I came round the other way I collided with him and it gave Worrall that yard he needed to put the ball in the back of the net.
“It’s disappointing from our point of view conceding from a set piece. I thought at set pieces we had a number of chances ourselves.
“Andy Considine’s had one, Sam Cosgrove had one and so did Scott McKenna. We had chances to win the game so it’s just disappointing we didn’t.
“It was a scrappy game and there wasn’t a lot of quality football on show.
“That is the type of games we always get when Rangers come up here or when we go down to Ibrox – the games are always similar.
“It’s scrappy, competitive and our performance was good. The competitive side of the performance was there, it wasn’t quality football that was on show.
“It’s never like that in these games so we need to go to Ibrox and put in a similar performance and I’m sure we can put ourselves in a semi-final.”
Both sides ended Sunday’s game with 11 men a month after Dons defender Scott McKenna and Gers striker Alfredo Morelos were sent off for kicking out at each other.
In the latest encounter McKenna, along with centre-back partner Andy Considine, didn’t give Morelos a sniff of a goal.
Ferguson said: “Scott is a top player and a top professional and he is only going to get better.
“He kept one of the best players in the league quiet.
“This season Morelos has scored so many goals and has terrorised defenders.
“But big Scott has just kept him really quiet along with Andy Considine so credit to them.”