Tomorrow’s Scottish Cup replay against Kilmarnock is crucial for Aberdeen if they are to make it an exciting end to the season.
The Dons meet Killie at Rugby Park in their fifth round rematch after a stalemate at Pittodrie 10 days ago.
If the Reds are to end the campaign with some silverware they need to progress to the quarter-final and beyond, but this replay is vital for more reasons than just lifting a trophy.
The Scottish Cup adds an important sparkle to the season and that’s why it’s important to get through.
I always feel, in terms of the season, you should be judged on your league form and where you finish in the Premiership.
Aberdeen are still in with a good chance of finishing third in the league and that would be a good outcome.
However, that doesn’t really provide the Red Army with much excitement. What enthuses supporters is a cup run and the chance to lift silverware at the end of the season.
If Aberdeen can get through and go on to Hampden it will provide a feelgood factor around the city and the fans will passionately get behind the team.
The last month and more hasn’t been easy for Derek McInnes and his squad.
Dons fans have been disheartened by results and performances since the winter break. However, tensions have cooled lately due to better displays in recent games.
If Aberdeen can get through tomorrow it will lift the mood of everybody connected with the club.
There is still a lot to play for this season with work still to be done to secure European football again – but it’s a cup run which will galvanise players, management and fans alike.
So this replay is a vital game for the Reds. However, I don’t think it’s a season-defining fixture, but it can provide the fans with plenty of excitement for the end of the season.
The Scottish Cup means more to fans than the league because winning it is tangible success.
Although third in the Premiership would be a good finish, supporters want to see Aberdeen winning trophies.
I remember coming up to Aberdeen as a 16-year-old in the 1970-71 season and the Scottish Cup was in the boardroom because Eddie Turnbull’s team had won it the season before.
That did so much in terms of lifting people in the city and at the club. It added to the enthusiasm about the club.
It was another 12 years before we won it again in 1982 after having some disappointments in the intervening period.
I was involved in the club winning the Scottish Cup five times up until the last triumph in 1990.
Every time we won a trophy when I was at the club it was special and it increased the enthusiasm of everyone connected with Aberdeen.
The Scottish Cup has always been regarded as the number one trophy in Scottish football and fans are always excited by the competition and a good run in it means so much to them.
It’s been too long since the Dons won the Scottish Cup and hopefully this can be the season where the wait is ended.
There’s no reason why the Dons can’t progress, but Killie will try to make it a tough evening.
Aberdeen are in a better place than when they first met the Ayrshire side at Pittodrie.
The Reds didn’t score in five games but then that run was ended with last Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Hamilton and the performance in Sunday’s loss to Celtic was also good.
That breeds confidence because when you are struggling as a team and struggling to score goals it does gnaw away at the confidence of the team.
As a result Aberdeen will have increased belief they can overcome Killie tomorrow.