Dean Campbell looks back on Aberdeen’s last meeting with Celtic with disappointment.
But the young Dons midfielder insists the chastening experience at Hampden showed him where he can improve.
The Hoops defeated the nine-man Reds 3-0 at the national stadium on April 14 in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup.
The sides are due to meet again today at Pittodrie with Neil Lennon’s team needing just a point to clinch the Premiership title.
Campbell started the cup semi-final and is in the running to feature again with Derek McInnes’ squad stretched by injuries.
Although the 18-year-old’s display was one of few bright spots for Aberdeen at Hampden, Campbell says that afternoon has shown him where he needs to improve.
In midfield he faced Scotland internationals Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, James Forrest and Ryan Christie as well as Tom Rogic, who has been capped by Australia.
Campbell said: “I can take a lot from the game because in midfield I played against four full Scotland internationals.
“It’s good to test myself against the best players in the country.
“I’ve managed to cope well in the past, but in that game they managed to get the better of us.
“It’s hugely important for me to try to reach the standards of those players if I want to become a first-team regular.”
Aberdeen’s last game against Celtic was Campbell’s first experience of playing at Hampden for the Dons first team.
The lifelong Reds fan was frustrated with the outcome – but believes when he and the team return to Hampden in the future they will be better for the experience.
He added: “I was disappointed because it was my first experience of losing a semi-final with the first team at Hampden.
“It was a good experience for me because I was delighted to be involved in the squad and start the game.
“But the game went against us and towards the end I was tiring a bit.
“Looking back it was frustrating for me that I didn’t do more and that the team didn’t win.
“But I just have to learn from the experience, take the positives from it and try to become a better player.
“I need to keep the head up and keep working hard to improve.
“I think everyone in the team will look back and say they could have done things better.
“In terms of everything that happened on the day it was tough for us in the end.
“As a young player I’m going to make mistakes and the most important thing is learning from it, coming back and being in a better position to help the team the next time we’re in that situation.”
Campbell will be hoping to feature in the Dons’ final three league games of the season with clashes against Hearts and Hibs following today’s meeting with Celtic.
It has been a breakthrough campaign for the teenager, who has played for Aberdeen’s Under-18s, reserves and first team over the course of the season.
He said: “It’s been crazy this season for me. There have been lows and highs.
“I’ve played U18s at the start of the season, I’ve played in the reserves and I’ve played in the first team as well.
“It’s been a bit of a yo-yo but it’s been fantastic to get the number of games I’ve had at my age.
“Long may it continue. I just want to keep playing in the first team and stay there for as long as I can by putting in positive performances.
“To be in among the first team and start games as I’ve been doing gives me confidence.
“It shows the manager is ready to put me in the team and if he’s ready to put me in the team it shows he thinks I’m good enough to play at that level.
“So that boosts my confidence and it makes me want to go on to become a better player and continue playing games at the highest level possible.”