Joe Lewis: ‘The squad is hungry to win games and win trophies for Aberdeen’

Joe Lewis.
Joe Lewis.

Joe Lewis says his desire to win a trophy with Aberdeen is stronger than ever, having suffered cup-final heartache.

The Dons take on Rangers tomorrow at Pittodrie in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup.

The Reds are trying to win the tournament for the first time since 1990 after some near misses in recent years.

Derek McInnes’ men have been defeated semi-finalists in 2014 and 2018 and, in 2017, an injury-time winner from Celtic’s Tom Rogic beat them in the final.

Goalie Lewis joined the club in 2016 and the Englishman was between the sticks for the final two years ago.

As well as the pain of that loss the keeper has also experienced defeat by Celtic with Aberdeen in League Cup finals in 2016 (3-0) and this season (1-0).

Lewis is desperate to join the elite group of Dons players that have delivered silverware for the club and hopes they can defeat Rangers tomorrow as they aim for Scottish Cup glory.

The 31-year-old said: “The expectation when you come to Aberdeen is to win trophies.

“I’ve been to one Scottish Cup final in my first season and you want to get to another final and win it this time.

“That has got to be Aberdeen’s aim in every cup competition to try to win it.

“We need to be ready to deal with what comes our way on Sunday and try to progress.

“The final is the last game of the season and if you’re involved in that you want to finish on a high.

“We need to get there first, but everyone in the dressing room wants to be part of a team that wins a trophy here.

“There is only Shay Logan, Andy Considine, Niall McGinn and Mark Reynolds who were here when the club last won a trophy.

“It would be great if this group of players could have that as well.

“Everyone in the squad is hungry to win games and win trophies for Aberdeen.

“I would love to win more than one trophy, but I haven’t managed to win one yet.

“But one of the reasons you come to play for Aberdeen is to win trophies.

“We have an opportunity to do that in the Scottish Cup, but right now Rangers are in our way on Sunday and we need to try to get through.

“You don’t really look at the big picture until the end of the season.

“During the season you’re just focusing on each game as it comes.

“Maybe at the end of a season you reflect on your time with a club and if you haven’t won trophies you may think that’s something you would like to have had. But right now I want to make sure we do win a trophy.”

The expectation of the Red Army for the Dons to win trophies is something Lewis relishes.

He came to Pittodrie after spells with Blackpool, Fulham, Cardiff and Peterborough, where it was extremely difficult to win silverware.

Lewis added: “In England there are very few teams that can win a trophy due to the finance at the top.

“The top three or four teams are very difficult to stop and you see Manchester City, who are on for the quadruple, and I wouldn’t put it past them to get it.

“Away from the top teams, the vast majority don’t have much chance.

“I came up here as an Aberdeen player to win trophies and the club have a great history of doing that.

“It hasn’t happened for a long time, but since the gaffer has come to the club that expectation has returned.”

In four meetings with Rangers this season Aberdeen have won two (both 1-0) and drawn one (1-1) but they lost the most recent clash 4-2 at Pittodrie last month.

Ahead of the latest meeting with the Gers, Lewis believes they can take confidence from the brace of victories against Steven Gerrard’s side this term.

He said: “I think we can take confidence from those results and I think we can take confidence from the last performance against them.

“Things didn’t go our way and the result didn’t go our way that night.

“But I think there were a lot of positive aspects from that game.

“In a cup game a result is all that matters so we need to make sure we have ruthlessness defensively in our 18-yard box and also ruthlessness in attack to take chances in their 18-yard box.

“Hopefully if we do that then we’ll get through the tie.”