Mark Reynolds has warned Aberdeen must treat Hibernian like they are already a Premiership club or face embarrassment.
After three years in the Championship, Hibs finally secured their return to the top flight at the weekend.
Since their relegation in 2014, the Edinburgh club have watched city rivals Hearts and Glasgow outfit Rangers go up while they have faced the ignominy of failing to do so.
The only saving grace – and it was quite a big one – was their Scottish Cup triumph last season.
That ended one of sport’s longest droughts, totalling 114 years before lifting the cup.
Now they stand in the way of a Dons side who have their own itch to scratch in the competition.
Aberdeen last had their hands on the trophy in 1990 after a 9-8 penalty shoot-out victory over Celtic.
Since then, they have made two finals and six additional semi-finals in the Scottish Cup.
And Reynolds believes if the Dons want to get back to Hampden for another showpiece in May, they will have to be at their best to beat a rejuvenated Hibs.
“I certainly don’t think we have been dismissive of them,” he said when asked how Aberdeen will approach the Easter Road side.
“We know exactly what they are about – they are a team who have been playing very well in the Championship this season.
“They are going to come into the Premiership next season and they will be a comfortable team.
“They have a good set-up with good players playing good football – they have a good manager and they will definitely add to the league.
“We are not looking at them as if they are lower league opposition.
“We’re looking at them as a team with good pedigree who can get results and have been on a good run of form.
“We know they will pose all sorts of problems and we know if we are not on our game on the day, we could lose the fixture.”