Derek McInnes has always tried to ensure he has a squad capable of winning the Scottish Cup.
The Dons boss believes he has that this season and says now it’s up to Aberdeen to prove it.
Tonight the Reds tackle Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in their fifth-round replay.
It’s been 30 years since an Aberdeen team won the Scottish Cup. In his seven years at Pittodrie, McInnes has come as close as anyone to ending the wait.
He led the Dons to the final three years ago, as well as semi-finals in 2014, 2018 and 12 months ago.
McInnes believes this season can be their year and said: “It’s the same every year – an Aberdeen team should have the capabilities to win the Scottish Cup.
“There’s no point in me saying ‘we want to win the Scottish Cup’ if we don’t have the team to do it.
“That’s what we wanted when we came in, to have a team that was competitive through in the league and the cups and that’s what we’ve got.
“It was hugely disappointing going out on penalties at Tynecastle (in the League Cup quarter-final).
“That’s the fine margins of cup football and we’ve got to do all we can to get into the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup.
“The Scottish Cup is important to us and it should be important to every Aberdeen manager and every Aberdeen squad because every year it comes round it’s important for the supporters.
“Nobody needs to tell me about the importance of the Scottish Cup.
“It can help your league campaign if you do well in the cup, it can give you a feel-good factor, it can give you excitement of looking forward to days at Hampden and it can give the club financial benefits.
“I feel we are a team that will get better and strong with the players that have come back.
“We had horrendous injuries in the first half of the season and if we can keep important players fit and get a fair crack at it then I feel we can finish the season well and a key part of that is good progression in the Scottish Cup.”
McInnes’ desire to be successful in this tournament has remained the same since taking charge of Aberdeen in March 2013.
He added: “I can only take responsibility for my time at the club and obviously we’ve got to semi-finals and the final.
“But we’ve fallen short of bringing the trophy back. For previous Aberdeen managers and future Aberdeen managers that importance to win the Scottish Cup will always be there.
“Since day one we’ve wanted to bring cups back here and nothing has changed about that ambition.”
Since the 0-0 draw between the Dons and Killie at Pittodrie 10 days ago, the mood of the Red Army has changed.
That stalemate was the fifth successive game in which Aberdeen had failed to score, but since then they have beaten Hamilton 3-1 and lost 2-1 to Celtic.
McInnes understood the frustration about a lack of creativity and said: “Where we’ve let ourselves down is a failure to break teams down, particularly at Pittodrie when teams have come and sat in.
“Dumbarton, Motherwell, St Johnstone, Kilmarnock and St Mirren away from home are games where we’ve had the majority of possession.
“Against Hamilton we had more possession, but it was more equal and it was more equal against Celtic.
“When that happens and possession is more equal it suggests the opposition are attacking more, which means we’ve got more space to work in.
“We were really guilty for a few games of not doing enough with our possession and that’s where the frustration comes in for everybody – myself, players, supporters and the players then feel it more when it goes on and on and becomes the main talking point.
“Thankfully we’ve scored four goals in the last two games and could have scored more.
“I do feel playing the types of opponents we’ve played has allowed that to happen.”
Meanwhile, Mikey Devlin may return after a groin injury ruled him out of Sunday’s defeat.