Defender Scott McKenna insists the Dons are hurting at the failure to take a point off rivals Rangers this season.
And he reckons there will never be a better time to dump Rangers than at a raucous Pittodrie tonight.
Aberdeen’s dismal return against the Ibrox club this campaign reads three defeats, no points, seven goals conceded and just one scored.
For the Scotland international the benefits of defeating Rangers in a high-pressure showdown at Pittodrie tonight are many.
Victory would be a huge step towards securing a fourth consecutive runners-up finish.
It would open up a four-point gap over Rangers with one game remaining and hence eliminate them from a current three-way race for that position, along with Hibs.
European football would be secured with victory tonight, for the fifth straight year.
If the Reds can finish second it could result in a later Euro entry and longer summer.
Second also brings an extra £320,000 in SPFL payments.
However, for McKenna the main driving factor in facing Rangers is to right the wrongs of losing all three games to their closest rivals while silencing a few critics.
The 21-year-old said: “This is the chance to put the wrongs right against Rangers.
“There are boys in the changing room that are hurting at not beating them.
“We have the belief. It would be great to beat Rangers. There has never been a better time to beat them than now.”
Despite the Dons finishing runners-up to Celtic for three straight years, Rangers were installed as hot favourites in the summer to be the Parkhead side’s main challengers.
That was fuelled by the near £10 million splashed out by former boss Pedro Caixinha.
Rangers have subsequently axed Caixinha and interim boss Graeme Murty before appointing Liverpool and England legend Steven Gerrard as new manager on a four-year contract.
“People have written us off, but we try not to think about them,” said McKenna.
“We just focus on what our own goals are in house.
“However, it’s up to us to get that win and silence a few people.”
The Rangers clash will be McKenna’s final act of a sensational breakthrough season where he cemented his place as a regular first-team starter and has broken into the Scotland team.
The centre-back is suspended for the trip to Celtic on Sunday.
He said: “I can only play in the Rangers game.
“It will be frustrating missing out on the Celtic one but it is just one of those things as a defender, you are going to pick up bookings throughout the season.”
Should Aberdeen finish runners-up, it opens up the possibility of a later entry into the Europa League.
If Celtic complete the treble by lifting the Scottish Cup on May 19, the Premiership’ runners-up will enter at the second qualifying round on Thursday, July 26. However, should Motherwell win the cup they will take that berth, and the Premiership’s second-placed side will enter Europe at the first qualifying round on Thursday, July 12.
McKenna said: “Finishing second brings massive benefits. There is also the potential of an extra week off.
“That’s important because the last three years after finishing second we’ve only had three weeks off.
“The chance to make it four or five weeks makes a massive difference to the boys in terms of recovery.
“The manager has talked about being able to plan a proper pre-season rather than being rushed.”
Aberdeen retained second spot despite being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Hibs.
It was the third straight clean sheet in the post-split fixtures having defeated both Hearts and Kilmarnock 2-0.
McKenna said: “We are disappointed not to take the three points against Hibs but a point from the draw keeps us in second place.
“It is still in our own hands going into the last two matches of the season.
“It will be a great game against Rangers and hopefully it will be sold out and a great atmosphere.
“If we get three points it puts us in a great position going into the Celtic game.”
McKenna will be at the heart of the Reds defence tonight and is determined to extend that clean-sheet run.
He said: “We’ve had chances against Rangers, we’ve just not taken them.
“We’ve conceded sloppy goals, so we just need to put the ball in the net at the other end and be more compact at the back.”
McKenna came close to netting against Hibs when his header beat keeper Ofir Marciano only to be scrambled clear off the line.
He said: “I should have done better with that header as I didn’t get enough on it.
“It was a great game with both teams up for it and flying into tackles.
“We gave away a penalty early on but big Joe (Lewis) baled us out by saving it.
“Joe’s had another great season for us and it’s moments like that where he stands up and helps out the team.
“If we go 1-0 behind you never know, we might be sitting level on points with Hibs. But thankfully we’re still in second place.
“After that it was fairly even but we did create a few chances. It was just unfortunate we couldn’t convert them.”