Winger Gary Mackay-Steven is determined to claim a League Cup winner’s medal with new club Aberdeen after putting in a shift in a final.
The 27-year-old already has a winner’s medal having been part of the Celtic squad that beat the Dons 3-0 in the final last November.
Mackay-Steven was an unused substitute in that Hampden showpiece and admits the medal does not have the same significance because he did not get on the pitch.
Which is why he is desperate to help the Dons move closer to another crack at League Cup final glory by overcoming Motherwell in the quarter-final at Fir Park tonight.
He said: “I would love nothing more than to play for Aberdeen in a final and get a winner’s medal.
“That would mean a lot to me.
“A winner’s medal doesn’t mean so much if you don’t play in the final, you would rather be playing and contributing.”
A £150,000 signing from treble-winning Celtic, Mackay-Steven was one of eight new arrivals at Pittodrie in a summer of transition.
The Scotland cap was one of five permanent additions with striker Stevie May also joining in a £300,000 move from Preston North End.
Midfielder Greg Tansey, attacker Nicky Maynard and Icelandic international defender Kari Arnason also signed on permanent deals.
Attackers Ryan Christie (Celtic), Greg Stewart (Birmingham) and defender Dominic Ball (Rotherham) arrived on season-long loans.
Boss Derek McInnes has challenged the Dons, who lost both cup finals last season, to go one better this term by delivering silverware.
Mackay-Steven reckons they have the strength to do that.
He said: “I don’t see why we can’t go on to win a trophy this season.
“There is enough talent and depth in the squad to do that.
“We will be looking to challenge in the cups and we just have to keep working hard in training and games to make that happen.
“Cup finals are the big occasions and the majority of the boys were in finals last season.
“We have all had a taste of it and want to be back in finals and competing for prizes.”
Mackay-Steven recently broke his silence and spoke to the Evening Express about the dramatic night he was pulled from a river in Glasgow by fire fighters and suffered hypothermia. The winger is keen to put that incident behind him and focus on his Aberdeen footballing career.
That continues tonight as he is in contention to start against the Steelmen, a team that have lost just twice in 11 games so far this season.
Aberdeen go into the all-or-nothing quarter-final undefeated domestically.
However, the momentum of their early start has stuttered recently with two successive draws – with Kilmarnock and Hearts.
Mackay-Steven is confident the Reds have still to hit top gear.
He said: “I think we have still to click and reach our potential.
“That is what we felt after the game (against Kilmarnock).
“We are doing all right and are unbeaten but still feel we have another gear to kick into.
“Every single one of us feels that.
“Although we have been doing quite well, there is definitely more to come.”
Mackay-Steven also won Premiership title medals at Parkhead, with the Hoops lifting three league crowns during his time at the club.
Last season Brendan Rodgers’ side romped to the Premiership title finishing 30 points ahead of their closest rivals, runners-up Aberdeen.
Already this season, just six games into the league campaign, the Bhoys are two points clear of second placed Aberdeen at the top of the table.
Mackay-Steven said: “Celtic are always going to be strong favourites as they have shown just how consistent they are over the last few years.
“They are relentless, so it will be tough.
“However, we will just concentrate on ourselves and pick up as many points as we can every week. “I feel we have done pretty well up to now without playing as well as we can.
“When we find our rhythm and really get going we will have a strong campaign but Celtic are always going to be favourites.”