Captain Joe Lewis today warned Aberdeen must be aggressive against Rangers and not show them too much respect.
Keeper Lewis insists the Dons have to right the wrong of crashing to a humiliating 5-0 loss at Ibrox in September.
He claims Aberdeen players are “not stupid” and accepts the performance in Glasgow was unacceptable.
The 32-year-old anticipates Gers will go on the attack in the hunt for three points at Pittodrie.
He challenged the Dons to be strong mentally and match the visitors’ fight with a level of aggression the Aberdeen shirt deserves.
Lewis said: “The last result and performance against Rangers was nowhere near it and we have to make sure we put that right.
“We need to show a much better mentality.
“We know they will be aggressive as they are a good team, there is no doubting that.
“However, we can’t have too much respect and need to show a level of aggression and competitiveness that the shirt deserves.
“Rangers is a huge game for the fans and ourselves.
“The players are not stupid, we do not kid ourselves – we know we have to put in a better performance than last time.
“We know we have to show a response after that performance and be as positive as we can.”
Lewis and his defence will face the prolific goalscoring prowess of Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos tomorrow.
Morelos, 23, has already bagged 24 goals in 28 games this season.
Last season Morelos was red carded in three games against Aberdeen and his temper threatened to derail his career.
However, Morelos is displaying a maturity this season and has yet to be sent off, having only been yellow carded six times.
Lewis said: “Rangers have a lot of good players all over the pitch so it is hard to single anyone out.
“We know roughly how they will play – that they will be aggressive and attacking.
“They will try to win the game.”
Rangers have opened up a gap on third-placed Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership table.
On confirmation of his imminent rise to role of chairman later this month, Dave Cormack insisted he wants Aberdeen to close the gap on Rangers and Celtic.
That is the long-term plan for Cormack and the new-look Pittodrie board.
However, can Aberdeen catch Rangers this season?
Lewis said: “We have to win our games against Rangers if we want to achieve that.
“But we have to make sure we take care of the short-term goals.
“We must treat each game with the respect it deserves.
“We need to make sure we keep ticking away with that.
“We have to make sure we are right on it but don’t want to get too distracted with where we are in relation to Rangers.”
Aberdeen go into the showdown on the back of a five-game unbeaten streak that has yielded 13 points from 15.
Lewis ensured the Dons defeated St Mirren at the weekend with a superb double save from a late penalty.
The keeper gave away the spot-kick when clipping Jonathan Obika with an outstretched arm as he broke in on goal.
Dons skipper Lewis was booked with referee Steven McLean opting not to show red as he judged the keeper made a genuine attempt to play the ball.
Lewis said: “I think it was a penalty as I did catch him to be honest.
“It was a genuine attempt to win the ball so a yellow card was the right decision.
“I don’t know whether he flung himself into me but there was contact.
“I had no choice, I had to save it.
“I felt I had to come for the ball because I wasn’t sure what would have happened if I didn’t, if he would have had time to bring it down or not.
“For the penalty I had a feeling he (Tony Andreu) would go that way and luckily I got there.
“It was almost too close to me as I could not get the angle to parry it wide and it fell back to him.
“There was good pressure on him with the lads charging in to make the clearance which helped him not get a good connection on it.”