Deender Ash Taylor believes the current Aberdeen team is the strongest he has played in during five seasons at the club.
And he warned they aim to prove it by ending Rangers 20-game unbeaten start to season in all competitions.
Aberdeen will tomorrow face Steve Gerrard’s Premiership leaders at Ibrox.
Taylor accepts games against Rangers and Celtic are ultimately where Derek McInnes’ Dons side will be judged.
They aim to deliver a message in Govan they can challenge Rangers and Celtic this season.
Taylor said: “We want to push them as much as we can.
“That has always been our aim since I’ve been at this football club.
“We know how good a squad we have and we know on our day that we can give them a good going and get the three points ourselves.
“We’ve shown that in the past.
“We’ve just got to try and win as many games as we can and push them as far as we can.
“These are the sort of games you are judged on.
“The expectation rises every year and of course you are judged on games against Celtic and Rangers more significantly.
“The club has done well over the past few seasons, been in cup finals and pushing on as far as we have, and these games have become more significant.
“In terms of depth of squad, it’s the strongest since I’ve been here.
“We kept the majority of our squad from last season as a lot of the boys were under contract, and it was pleasing that we were also able to add a few.
“I’ve never seen a bench like it in my time here, the players who can come in and play.
“The competition for places is big at the moment and you’ve got to be on your game to keep your spot in the squad.”
For more than quarter of a century, Aberdeen had failed to beat Rangers in Glasgow.
That finally ended in May 2017 when McInnes’ side triumphed 2-1 for a first win at Ibrox since 1991.
Taylor started in that win three years ago before moving to Northampton Town that summer.
During his two seasons in England, the Dons built on the momentum of that first win in 26 years by beating Rangers three times in Glasgow.
Aberdeen knocked Rangers out of both cups in the 2018-19 season by triumphing in the League Cup semi-final at Hampden and the Scottish Cup quarter-final replay at Ibrox.
The Dons also beat Rangers at Ibrox in the Premiership.
Taylor said: “It’s always a tasty fixture down there.
“It’s going to be a tough game, because they’re a very in-form side and doing well, but we’re in good form ourselves.
“It’s pretty pleasing going down to Glasgow and winning.
“It’s something we’ve looked to do in the past and we’ve done that recently.”
Pre-coronavirus pandemic, Ibrox would have been packed with 50,817 supporters in what can be an intimidating atmosphere.
Tomorrow the stadium will be empty due to the ongoing absence of fans from stadiums due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Taylor said: “We know the fans make a huge difference and it’s normally a full house for these games.
“However, I wouldn’t say no fans will make it easier.
“Rangers are a good side, in form and have shown what they’re about this season and done really well.
“It’s just important that we go down there with the same attitude we have previously and try and get the three points and put on a good performance.
“You have to go down and compete and pick up points as you go along.
“Over the course of the season we will drop points, but it is more pleasing to go down there and win and take the points back up the road.
“That would stand us in good stead for the rest of the season.”
Aberdeen suffered a disappointing start to the season when losing 1-0 Rangers in the Premiership opener at Pittodrie.
It was a flat, uninspired performance from the Reds, but Taylor is confident they can right that wrong tomorrow.
He said: “We didn’t get ourselves going.
“It was disappointing to start the season the way we did.
“We’ve kicked on since then and picked up some good form and some good results.
“We’re not far away. We know if we can go down there, put in a solid performance, then we can try and get the right result.
Rangers hold a nine-point lead over Celtic at the top of the Premiership table and are top of their Europa League group D table.
On Rangers this season, Taylor said: “I’d say they’re more of a solid unit, more a team than individuals, which has been good for them.
“They’ve been keeping clean sheets as a team as well and they’re scoring goals. They’re a strong team, they have been over the past season, and it’s all coming together now.
“They have more of a threat and more depth in terms of quality, but we’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves.
“We have to put in a solid performance.”