Aberdeen’s focus will quickly shift from Dubai to Dumbarton as they ramp up their preparations for this weekend’s Scottish Cup tie.
The Sons may be sitting in the middle of League 1, but I’m sure Derek McInnes and his players won’t be treating Saturday’s contest lightly.
Aberdeen required a replay to get past Stenhousemuir at the same stage of the competition 12 months ago after drawing 1-1 at Pittodrie.
I’m sure Derek will be reminding his players of that ahead of this weekend’s encounter to ensure there is no complacency.
I can only see one winner, but it is a cup tie and strange things can happen in one-off games.
The nervy experience against Stenhousemuir is one Aberdeen will be determined to avoid.
It is vital Aberdeen don’t start the game slowly and give Dumbarton any encouragement.
The fact that it is the first game after the winter break does put a slight question mark over it, but I’m fully expecting Aberdeen to progress comfortably when you look at the respective squads.
The Scottish Cup is very important to Aberdeen this season.
The League Cup campaign was disappointing, with the club being knocked out at the quarter-final stage on penalties against Hearts.
Aberdeen have been pretty consistent in the league, but the cup competitions are what can really excite the support as they offer the best and most realistic chance of silverware.
It is a favourable draw and it is imperative they make the most of it and get through to the next round.
It is incredible that this year will be 30 years since Aberdeen last tasted success in the Scottish Cup.
That is far too long for a club of Aberdeen’s stature.
The League Cup win in 2014 was very important as it ended a near 20-year wait for a trophy.
But winning the Scottish Cup again would be another major milestone.
The Dons have went on some excellent cup runs during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie, but he has come up against a very good Celtic side that has proven to be too strong in those showpiece games at Hampden.
Aberdeen won the Scottish Cup five times between 1982 and 1990 and it is a competition that holds a special place in the hearts of the Aberdeen fans.
If Derek was able to end the wait for another trophy this season it would be a huge success for him. This Saturday will also be the first chance for the Aberdeen support to get a glimpse of Dylan McGeouch in a red shirt. He looks like a very good signing.
The Dons have lacked creativity at times this season and McGeouch will bring a different dimension to the team.
It is likely there will be more arrivals at Pittodrie during the transfer window, but the main focus is on whether Scott McKenna and Sam Cosgrove will still be Dons players by the time the deadline has passed.
Derek has reiterated his desire to keep Scott at the club, but every player has his price.
Aberdeen, like most Scottish clubs, are a selling club and if that price is matched then Scott will be leaving. I was surprised when Aberdeen rejected a reported £6.5 million bid for Scott on deadline day in the summer of 2018.
The timing and structure of the bid was ultimately why the bid was rebuffed, although it must have been tempting for the Aberdeen board.
If a similar offer is made I expect Scott will go, even though the Dons will be desperate to keep him.
The club is in a good financial position and they don’t need to sell, but the player has ambitions to play in England.
He submitted a transfer request during the last transfer window so if the right offer comes in this time then it would be no surprise if it was accepted.