Aberdeen manager McInnes has his sights set on return to Hampden after dumping Dundee United out of Scottish Cup

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

Boss Derek McInnes today challenged the Dons to get back to Hampden and take a step closer to lifting the Scottish Cup for the first time since 1990.

Aberdeen will face in-form Kilmarnock in the last eight at Pittodrie on the weekend of March 3 and 4.

At stake is a semi-final place at the national stadium.

Aberdeen overcame Championship outfit Dundee United 4-2 in a New Firm derby tie at Pittodrie.

McInnes believes his Dons belong in cup finals now and wants to finally bring the trophy back to the Granite City.

He said: “I liked the attitude of my team that day in the Scottish final.

“I also liked the attitude of our support as well as it felt like we belonged in cup finals.

 

“We are getting used to those surroundings and I want to get back there and hopefully go one better and actually bring the trophy home.

“We visited Hampden four times last season and that is invaluable in getting the familiarity in dealing with these occasions.”

A brace from Gary Mackay-Steven and goals from Adam Rooney and Kenny McLean overcame the Tangerines.

Next up is a clash against an in-form Kilmarnock side revitalised under the guidance of manager Steve Clarke.

McInnes said: “I said before the competition started that I felt there would be loads of teams who feel this is their year.

“There will be only a few clubs, and we include ourselves in that, that will be disappointed if they don’t win it.

“I feel we are a team that can go and win it.

“We need to use the experience of good and bad of Hampden semi-finals and finals.”

The draw for the quarter-finals was made immediately after the Dons overcame Dundee United.

“Kilmarnock is going to be a tough game as Steve has really got them going,” said McInnes

“Even though we have had a couple of good results against Kilmarnock it hasn’t been easy.

“It will be a tough game but when you get to the quarter-final stage you shouldn’t expect anything other than that.

“Both teams will see it as a real opportunity to get into a semi-final.”

Prior to the fifth round cup tie Dundee United manager Csaba László had a dig at the Dons.

He insisted Aberdeen’s success in recent years was only because there was insufficient competition with Rangers, Hearts, Hibs and Dundee United all being out of the top flight at some point during that period.

McInnes insisted he did not use Laszlo’s comments to fire up his side.

He said: “I know the players had mentioned it.

“I know the motivation from my team is there anyway.

“If there is any added motivation it doesn’t do any harm but it is certainly not something I felt I needed to mention.

“During training, I could feel how important the game was to my players.”

Aberdeen racked up a fourth successive victory and McInnes praised his squad who have now scored 14 goals in the last four games at Pittodrie.

He said: “The appetite and approach from the start was fantastic.

“The surface was difficult and it was difficult to play with any real speed through the lines.

“A lot of the balls were getting caught up in the wind and I felt sorry for both sets of players.

“Conditions and the pitch were not conducive to playing a lot of quality football.

“But what we did have is a lot of quality moments with the goals in particular fantastic.

“With it being a cup tie, I thought Dundee United would have been more attacking, especially with the level of player they have.

“They played so defensively in the first half and we had to work hard to get opportunities.

“Other than a moment of slackness we were worthy of maybe having more than a two-goal advantage at half-time.

“I was really pleased with a lot of the work.

“If you had said before the game you would score four goals and get into the next round of the Scottish Cup we would have taken that.

“We were worthy winners.”

Defender Andy Considine is suspended for the quarter-final against Kilmarnock having picked up a booking in the win over Dundee United.

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