Dons goal hero Ryan Edmondson reckons they can challenge Celtic and Rangers in the Premiership this season.
The striker, who bagged a brace on his first start for Aberdeen in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Hamilton, believes the Reds have the quality to push the Old Firm at the top of the table this term.
Victory against the Accies took the Dons up to third and defeating the Hoops at Pittodrie on Sunday would take Derek McInnes’ men level on points with the Glasgow side.
With Sam Cosgrove, Matty Kennedy and Greg Leigh closing in on comebacks from injury, Edmondson thinks the strength in depth within Aberdeen’s squad can help them challenge.
The on-loan Leeds United frontman said: “Aberdeen is a massive club in the league. The squad we’ve got this year is so strong and we’ve got so much depth.
“Why can’t we (push them all the way)? That’s a question the gaffer’s posed to us quite a lot.
“All the talk is about the Old Firm, Celtic and Rangers. Why not us? We’ve got the squad to do it, we’ve got the quality to do it.
“100 per cent we can get a couple of wins against Celtic and we can go to Rangers away and we have all confidence that we can get a result.
“But we take it game by game and all the focus is on the game we’ve got coming up. As long as we keep winning, it’s all we can do.
“We’ll go into Sunday full of confidence, especially off the back of a 4-2 win. We’ve got a lot of goals in us.
“We’ve got that quality coming in from the wide areas. We’ve got so much depth in the squad and the quality there.
“I’m sure we can go there full of confidence and play our game and grab a result.”
Drawing with Dundee United on Saturday felt like a missed opportunity for the Dons, but Edmondson was pleased with how they responded against Hamilton.
The 19-year-old, who is on loan at Pittodrie until January, added: “To be up there, in and around the big teams, we see ourselves as one of the top-three teams.
“The draw on Saturday has put us down a bit, because we could have been closer to Celtic, but we move on from that and take it game by game.
“We proved against Hamilton how we were able to focus and get the job done. We’ve edged that little step closer.
“Sunday’s game will be massive for us, especially being that close to Celtic. If we can get a result above them, then it would be unbelievable for us as a club.”
After the league clash with Celtic, Aberdeen face the Hoops again at Hampden in the semi-final of last season’s Scottish Cup.
Edmondson says confidence is high and he believes the Dons have what it takes to deliver two victories.
“As you could see in some of the play against Hamilton, the lads were unbelievable. We’ve been moving the ball really well,” he said.
“We’re confident on the ball, we’ve been scoring, and it’s just important that we carry that on.
“It’s two massive games against Celtic and we know that. We’ll work towards that.
“They’re two completely different scenarios. We’ve got the league game this Sunday coming up and then the semi-final, and it will be all guns blazing in that game.
“It will be good for us. It’s always a good challenge against the Old Firm teams.
“It’ll test us, but I think we’re feeling confident and we’ll be up for that test.”
Edmondson opened his goalscoring account for the Dons with a first-half double against Accies.
He converted a Jonny Hayes cutback and then burst through to clip home a second in the space of seven first half minutes, and, before thatm it was his pass which teed up Lewis Ferguson’s stunner.
With Cosgrove on the bench on Tuesday and Curtis Main also getting closer to a return, Edmondson says the competition to play has motivated him.
He said: “It’s my first senior start for the club and my first senior start as a player really.
“To grab a couple of goals and an assist is a dream come true for me. I’ve worked hard towards it, so I’m happy that the gaffer has given me the opportunity to play.
“Thankfully I’ve rewarded him with a couple of goals and helped the lads towards a win against Hamilton.
“It’s always good to have that depth and quality within the squad. When you’ve got that many forward players coming back from injury, it does drive you on a bit because you want to prove a point.
“Competition is always good in the squad, because it’s friendly competition.
“We all support each other and all egg each other on. With a couple of goals and an assist, it wasn’t the best performance from me personally.
“But to grab the goals puts me in that limelight and keeps me in the gaffer’s mind. Hopefully I can carry that on.”