Graeme Shinnie can’t play but has done his bit to fire up the Dons ahead of Celtic clash

Returning skipper Graeme Shinnie netted the opening goal for Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup quarter-final.

Skipper Graeme Shinnie is gutted to miss tomorrow’s clash with Celtic but has still played a key role in preparation for the showdown.

Shinnie will miss the visit of the league leaders as he serves the last game of a two-match suspension.

The 26-year-old also missed the 2-0 loss at Hibs last weekend.

Shinnie has done his best to get the Dons fired up for the Hoops after that disappointing Easter Road defeat.

He insists it was mission accomplished as by the end of the first day back in training the Reds had moved on from the Hibs defeat and were focused on ending a nine-game losing run to Celtic.

He said: “There is nothing worse than watching from the stand.

“As skipper it is my job to lift the players.

“I will be honest and say it was quite tough on Monday.

“The boys were hurting and it was also a pretty miserable day weather-wise at training.

“The boys were down and disappointed but we managed to get the spirits back up over the course of the morning.

“You have to keep looking forward in this job.

“We can’t influence the Hibs result any more.

“All we can do is influence what happens against Celtic.

“We have looked over the Hibs game and tried to pick out some points, but moving forward we need to pick ourselves back up as we have a massive game and a massive week ahead.”

Shinnie was hit with a two-game ban for the double header against Celtic and Hibs after exceeding the points threshold for bookings.

He has been yellow carded 13 times this season, the most of any Premiership player.

Shinnie said: “This is the first time I have ever had a two-match ban for my bookings.

“It has been tough.

“I have been doing more running than I normally would through the week because I don’t have a game at the weekend.

“I also try to do as much gym work as I possibly can, too. Normally, when training has stopped, I go to do some high intensity running, as if I was playing again.”

Shinnie will return to action for the league trip to Motherwell next Wednesday.

He said: “I am quite glad the Motherwell game is on in midweek so there is less time for me to wait to try to get back in.”

Aberdeen have lost all eight games to Celtic under Rodgers in all competitions.

Those defeats include the Scottish Cup and League Cup finals last season.

Shinnie said: “A lot has been made of our recent record against Celtic but I think you need to look at each game in isolation.

“The game at Pittodrie earlier in the season (3-0 defeat) we hold our hands up, we were well beaten. It is the best they have played against us since I have been here.

“In some of the other games, we could have improved the way we played.

“The league game in Glasgow this season was another example of those fine margins.

“In the first half we were doing okay, we were frustrating them. “We had a good spell and created a few chances and then they score with a deflected shot out of nothing.

“These little things in a game are turning points. We want to try to change it so they turn for us.”