McInnes hopes Stenhousemuir clash is the start of a Scottish Cup journey for Aberdeen

Aberdeen Manager Derek McInnes.
Aberdeen Manager Derek McInnes.

Derek McInnes hopes tomorrow’s Scottish Cup tie with Stenhousemuir can be the start of a journey in the competition.

Aberdeen face the Warriors at Pittodrie in round four as they start their quest to lift the trophy for the first time since 1990.

Having reached the final in 2017 and the semi-finals last term, McInnes hopes they can overcome the League One outfit to start another run towards the latter stages.

The Reds gaffer said: “It (the Scottish Cup) is hugely important – it’s a cup competition that we feel we can win.

“We say it often enough and we will be one of a few clubs who have that approach to it.

“We want to do as well as we can. We are starting the journey at home and hopefully it is a journey in the competition.”

During McInnes’ five-and-a-half seasons with the club his side have always performed well against lower-league opposition.

He hopes that continues tomorrow and added: “The ties haven’t always been straightforward and we’ve had to work for results.

“But even when I was with St Johnstone we always dealt with the game and tried to be as professional as possible because there will be an upset somewhere in this round.

“There are normally upsets in cup rounds so for us it’s about doing all we can to make sure it’s not us.”

McInnes has done his homework on Colin McMenamin’s Stenny.

It has been a task that was aided by Dons Under-20 player Seb Ross being on loan at Ochilview this term.

Seb Ross in Stenny’s colours.

As a result Aberdeen had already looked at some of Stenny’s games and McInnes says that was ramped up following the pairing in the Scottish Cup.

The manager said: “They will come up here as underdogs but they will be looking forward to the game.

“It gets them a wee bit of respite from the league because they have been struggling in the league.

“All their players will be desperate to come up here and put on a performance against us.

“Sometimes in the cup you play against teams where you are not the favourite and sometimes you play teams when you are the favourite.

“We need to deal with both situations and when we have been favourites we have always dealt with it and been very respectful towards the opposition.

“We had a good handle on Stenhousemuir anyway with young Seb Ross being out there on loan.

“We’d had games watched and had feedback on games, but since the draw was made we have intensified that spotlight on them and we feel we have a good handle on them.

“Like every game we can look at the opposition and their strengths and weaknesses, but ultimately it’s down to what we do on the day.”