Boss Derek McInnes has warned that the Pittodrie showdown with Rangers is a must-win fixture if the Dons are to be league runners-up.
Aberdeen host the Ibrox club tomorrow in a high-stakes battle to finish second in the Premiership. With just two games remaining McInnes’ Reds, who drew 0-0 at home to Hibs, hold a one-point advantage over Rangers who boast a superior goal advantage.
Hibs are also in the mix, three points behind the Dons.
Aberdeen’s bid to finish runners-up for a fourth successive year will come down to the final two games, against Rangers and then Celtic on Sunday.
The Reds have lost all six games to the Old Firm this season.
McInnes aims to break that barren run tomorrow with a win that would end Rangers’ hopes of second and secure the Reds’ Euro qualification.
He said: “We have to take charge of our own destiny and I feel a win tomorrow is something we have to go and do for any ambitions of finishing second.
“To guarantee second I felt we had to win four games after the split.
“I still think we can get second but we cannot do it without winning against Rangers.
“Obviously other results can go in our favour.
“The first job for us is to try to get into Europe and with a win tomorrow we can do that.
“That is the first box we need to try and tick.
“We want to finish second and are right in the mix for that.
“When the post split fixtures came out they were always going to be exciting games.
“It is unusual that Hibs, Rangers and ourselves can all finish fourth, third and can all finish second.
“It is all in our own hands.”
Aberdeen have lost all three league games to Rangers this season – 3-0, 2,1 and 2-0.
That does not sit well with McInnes.
He said: “We have an opportunity to right a few wrongs as we have been disappointed with the performance levels against Rangers.
“We have not brought enough quality against them in the forward and wide areas.
“Now we have good players in form at the right time.
“Gary Mackay-Steven was fantastic against Hibs.
“With Mackay-Steven, Stewart and McGinn, we have options to lay a glove on Rangers more than we have this season.”
Aberdeen will welcome back Scotland international midfielder Kenny McLean for tomorrow’s clash with Rangers.
McLean, who will return to parent club Norwich City in the summer, was suspended for the Hibs stalemate.
McInnes said: “We missed McLean’s composure.
“There was plenty of industry, fire and getting after Hibs, but we lacked that bit of composure, thought and quality.
“Kenny normally brings that for us.
“We will have McLean back for Rangers and will take positives from the Hibs game.
“We have the confidence of having had three clean sheets post split, which isn’t easy. Hopefully we can add a wee bit more of a goal threat tomorrow to get the job done.”
Hibs midfielder John McGinn was booked for a bad challenge on Gary Mackay-Steven that sent the winger spinning into the away team’s dugout.
On the challenge, McInnes said: “I thought he (McGinn) could have shown more restraint going into it.
“It was two teams fully committed and we don’t want to see people sent off.
“I reminded the players before the game and at half time not only the importance of staying disciplined and having that calmness, but of the impact of losing a man would impact on Tuesday (against Rangers).
“The referee did a lot right and maybe one or two things wrong.
“But it is difficult to get everything right when there are two teams fully committed.
“I was happy with that side of my team and thought we were really competitive. It was 10 out of 10 for effort.
“However, we were just looking for that bit of guile and final bit of quality.”