Despite the recent home hurt Greg Stewart is confident Aberdeen can send Rangers crashing out of a cup for the second time this season.
The Dons face Steven Gerrard’s in-form Gers at Pittodrie in the Scottish Cup quarter-final on Sunday.
The omens leading up to the last-eight clash do not bode well for Aberdeen to recreate the Betfred Cup semi-final where they dumped Rangers 1-0 at Hampden last October.
A 2-0 loss to relegation-battling Hamilton continued the home slump as the Dons have taken just two points from the last possible 15 at Pittodrie.
In contrast Rangers have hit 14 goals in their last three matches with no reply.
Stewart, on loan from Birmingham City until the summer, insists recent form counts for nothing ahead of a potentially season-defining clash for both sides – and believes the Reds have the quality to triumph.
Asked if the Dons’ home form was a concern ahead of the cup tie, Stewart said: “No, because we played them a few weeks ago.
“I know we were beaten but we actually played well.
“We were unlucky not to win the game against Rangers, never mind lose.
“It is the cup and anything can happen.
“Okay, we are coming off the back of a defeat to Hamilton but we will go into the game knowing the fact we can win it.”
Aberdeen hold the upper hand in the head-to-heads with Rangers this season with two wins, at Ibrox (1-0) and Hampden.
Gerrard’s only victory over Aberdeen since his appointment as Rangers boss in the summer was 4-2 at Pittodrie last month.
Both Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna and Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos were sent off in that match.
In the aftermath Aberdeen’s players and management were surprised at the level of celebration by Rangers in the away dressing room.
Stewart insists the Dons need no extra motivation to fire them up for Sunday as the significance of the tie and rewards are enough.
He said: “It is a big enough game but it is always in the back of your mind what happened that night.
“I will not say too much on it, I will leave that with you.
“It is a big enough game as it is and we will go into that looking to win and get through the tie.”
Stewart is under no illusion as to the importance of Sunday’s clash to Aberdeen’s season.
Should they lose all that will be left is the bid to finish Premiership runners-up which already looks to be critically damaged as they now trail Rangers by eight points.
He said: “Rangers and Celtic both won again which makes that hard in the league.
“When I signed here the main area was to try to win the Scottish Cup, that is normal here.
“The quicker the Rangers game comes the better for us to come back off that defeat.
“Hopefully we can finish the week off with a good performance on Sunday.”
Aberdeen are in the midst of a club record-equalling seven-game winning streak away from home, only previously achieved in 1971 and 1936.
Yet they have won just once in seven games at Pittodrie, a 4-1 defeat of Championship Queen of the South in the Scottish Cup.
Aberdeen have shipped more points at home in the last four league games than they had for the whole of the season prior.
What has gone wrong at Pittodrie?
“I don’t know what it is,” said Stewart.
“If I could pin-point it I would say, but I can’t really say how this is happening. One thing is certain though, it has not been good enough.
“We spoke before the Hamilton game about coming out of the blocks flying early doors. However we did not do that, again.
“That has been a wee bit of a problem at home lately as we have not started games well.
“That’s twice we have been beaten at home since the turn of the year.
“Having that massive game on Sunday is good for us as we have another match as quickly as possible.
“We need to look towards that because the Hamilton game is done now.”
One thing is certain, if the Dons defence is as porous as it has been in recent home games, and the Gers attack as potent, then the Scottish Cup bid will be in serious jeopardy.
Dons boss Derek McInnes accused his players of lacking aggression in the loss to Hamilton and has demanded they produce that edge from the very start of the cup clash with Rangers.
Stewart said: “I can see where he is coming from.
“We did not take our chances at the top end of the pitch and conceded two goals at home.
“That is not good enough when you play for a club like Aberdeen where in every game you are expected to win, it doesn’t matter who you are playing.
“To be beaten by Hamilton, no disrespect to them, but it is a game we should be winning.
“However, we did not go about our business the way we should have.
“We created a lot of chances and could have scored enough to win two games but we did not take them.
“Fair play to Hamilton as their first goal was unbelievable.
“You could look at it and say it was a mistake from a defensive point of view.
“But I am not going to take anything away from the boy as it was an unbelievable finish.”