Aberdeen’s dominant Betfred Cup win over St Mirren bodes well for the rest of the season.
The Reds could easily have doubled their 4-0 scoreline against Premiership Buddies.
Aberdeen won the trophy in 2014 under the guidance of manager Derek McInnes and they will be looking for a repeat this season.
Performances in cup competitions were a source of disappointment from Aberdeen last season and they will be desperate to put that right.
The Betfred Cup offers an ideal opportunity because due to the Reds’ Europa League involvement they bypassed the cup’s group stages and entered at the second round phase.
It takes just four wins in the Betfred Cup to lift the trophy and the Dons have romped to that first win in impressive style.
There will be far tougher tests ahead in this tournament but Aberdeen will have the confidence that this could be the year their name goes back on the trophy.
Other teams such as Celtic, Rangers, Hibs and Hearts will have the same aspirations this season.
Ultimately, you are always going to be gauged by league performances but the cups offer the best opportunity for Aberdeen to win a trophy.
Even although the Betfred Cup is the lesser of the two domestic trophies, it is still one that is cherished and coveted – even by Celtic.
The Parkhead side’s performances over the last two seasons have dominated every trophy as they have done the double treble under boss Brendan Rodgers.
This season it is important for Aberdeen to get an extended cup run. It gives the supporters a real boost and also brings confidence and momentum to the team.
The intention from Aberdeen to make the quarter-finals was there from the very start.
There were four clear chances before Gary Mackay-Steven’s opening goal even went in.
It was complete domination from Aberdeen and in the first-half, St Mirren looked like they might totally collapse.
It could have been an embarrassing scoreline and if it was I don’t think St Mirren could have complained.
They were never anywhere close to the standard required by a team hoping to come to Pittodrie and compete.
Winger Mackay-Steven was a constant threat on the right and bagged two goals to take his season’s tally up to four.
Every time Mackay-Steven was on the ball, he looked like going past young full back Hayden Coulson who struggled to cope with the winger throughout the tie.
Eventually, he gave away the penalty for a foul on Mackay-Steven.
In cup football, the most important thing is the result and progressing.
However, as well as being in the quarter-finals, the manager had the added bonus of his side producing an excellent performance. Aberdeen keeper Joe Lewis was only tested once in the tie when he had to save from Nicolai Brock-Madsen in the first half.
Even though the Dons defence were hit by injuries and suspensions, they never looked in any danger of conceding a goal. There were four defenders ruled out with Shay Logan, Scott McKenna, Tommie Hoban and Mark Reynolds all unavailable.
Those problems look set to alleviate for Saturday’s Premiership trip to Hibs with Logan also returning from suspension.
On-loan Watford defender Hoban is also in contention to return.
With Niall McGinn and on-loan Manchester United striker James Wilson also set to be available to face Hibs, boss Derek McInnes will have even more options.
This was not the strongest Aberdeen side available, yet they still swept aside a side in the same division as them.
That can only fill the Dons and fans with confidence for the season.