Boss Derek McInnes can feel the need within the Aberdeen fanbase to witness another trophy win and aims to deliver that at Hampden.
Tomorrow he will lead the Dons out in the Betfred Cup final, his fourth final in five-and-a-half years as Pittodrie manager.
McInnes won his first to deliver the League Cup in 2014 but lost two finals to Celtic in 2016-17.
Yet again he will face the Hoops at Hampden for a trophy and McInnes accepts their chances are written off in most quarters – but he doesn’t care.
Instead, he is convinced his side can rise to the occasion to deliver a second trophy in his reign as manager and give the 20,000-strong travelling Red Army “memories to cherish”.
He said: “A lot of people will not give us any chance but we believe we can deliver the performance that can win us the final.
“We are up against the bigger team with the bigger and better squad but we are capable of the bigger performance at Hampden and that is what we aim to achieve.
“In cup competitions whether we are the favourites or underdogs, it isn’t really that important. To be honest, we actually don’t care what tag people put on us. When you really think about it logically, that isn’t important. What is important is that we feel we’ve got a big performance in us to win the game – and we do.”
McInnes sensed both the expectation and desperation in 2014 within a generation of Dons supporters to finally witness a trophy success after a 19-year drought – so much so that the 2014 cup run felt like a “crusade”.
He delivered the League Cup and now stands on the brink of another trophy.
He said: “I remember the first final here and how eagerly anticipated that was.
“It was like a crusade at the semi-final at Tynecastle (a 4-0 defeat of St Johnstone) with the anticipation and excitement because it had been so long in coming, winning a cup.
“The support were just desperate to win a trophy. I felt the weight of expectation for that final with 43,000 at Celtic Park. There were fans travelling from all corners of the globe to get there, as they were so desperate to see Aberdeen lift a trophy.
“A generation had not seen an Aberdeen team win a trophy. Prior to coming into the club, we’d only won one trophy in 20-odd years so that suggests it’s not easy.
“At least now we’re giving ourselves a chance. No other club outwith Celtic have been in more semi-finals or finals or competed in Europe as much as us in recent seasons and I’m proud of that.
“When I look back to that first year (2013-2014), it was important we won a trophy quickly. It reinforced the confidence and belief in everybody – the players, the squad and the support.
“However, I still feel that expectation now. Our supporters just want to see their team win trophies and be part of these events and we want to give them memories they can cherish.”
Aberdeen reached the final via a hazardous route, having to despatch Premiership sides Rangers, Hibs and St Mirren on the way. They have yet to concede a goal in the tournament.
McInnes will be bursting with pride when he walks out at Hampden with his squad, and aims to be even prouder by witnessing captain Graeme Shinnie lift the cup.
The manager said: “We have to remind ourselves that every other club in Scotland will want what we have.
“Every other support and every other player and manager wants this opportunity of a final.
“I am proud of my players for putting ourselves in this position again where we are in a final, and I will be even more proud if we deliver the performance I know we are capable of.
“This final will be exciting and a game that demands full concentration and a level of performance because of the opponent. However, I think we’re capable of winning the cup and I felt that at the start of the season when the competition started. I feel it more now with this final.”