Aberdeen have got a very good chance to go deep in the Scottish Cup.
After beating Dumbarton at the weekend, the Dons will face Livingston in the fourth round at Pittodrie and if they progress they will again be at home, to either Forfar or Dundee United, in the quarter-finals.
Whenever draws are made you always want home ties and the Reds now potentially have two cup ties at home.
They should be confident they can make the most of them.
Neither game will be easy with the potential of facing two Premiership sides in Livi and United.
But if you have ambitions of trying to win the Scottish Cup, you have to beat top-flight opposition and you’ve got to take advantage of these draws.
The Dons should be pretty buoyant about their cup prospects and if they can string some positive results together and get to the last four of the competition it would give the whole club a lift.
Aberdeen will be favourites – but not huge favourites – in both ties and performances and results this season would show why.
Both Livingston and Dundee United have won their last meetings with the Reds.
But these two ties are good opportunities for the Dons to get into the semi-final of the Scottish Cup and if they could have success in the tournament it would turn the season around.
If you get into the last four anything can happen and another plus for Aberdeen is Rangers and Celtic being drawn against each other in the next round.
When you look at the ties and the circumstances, it’s up to the Dons to take advantage and get back to Hampden.
Cup of hope for new manager
Incoming manager Stephen Glass will be happy looking at the draw I’m sure, and his first game in charge following quarantine is set to be against Livingston in round four.
Between now and the end of season, the Scottish Cup will be important for Glass.
If he can build confidence as well as getting the team to score a bit more regularly, then the Dons can do well in competition.
Between now and the end of the season, Glass has to make the best of what he’s got and there is a great opportunity there to do well in the Scottish Cup.
More of the focus with Glass’ appointment has been towards next season, but there is still something to play for this term.
When you get an away tie like the Dons had at the weekend against Dumbarton in the early rounds of the cup, there is no benefit to the club which is expected to get through.
It’s just about ensuring you get through and avoiding being on the end of a shock.
You can make it easy or you can make it difficult and it was a difficult afternoon for Aberdeen, but the bottom line is they got through which was the most important thing.
Often on these occasions you can see the smaller club raise their game because it is a big occasion for them.
For the Reds, everyone was expecting them to win and plenty of people will have been hoping they wouldn’t win.
But you have to treat your opponents with respect and then try to get the tie finished as quickly as possible.
As a player or manager that was my view on ties against lower league sides – to try to get them finished as a contest as quickly as possible.
Aberdeen have been going through a poor spell and the main thing was making sure they got into the next round and not slipping up.
I think the Dons will be relieved to have got into the next round. It wasn’t done in any style – but the most important thing is that it was done.
Great to see youth being given a chance at Aberdeen
Aberdeen have a rich history of bringing young players through the ranks and it’s been good to see Calvin Ramsay and Jack MacKenzie doing well when given a chance in the first-team.
MacKenzie, 20, made his debut against Dundee United a fortnight ago and 17-year-old Ramsay made his first start against Dumbarton on Saturday.
There’s a lot of time, effort and finance goes into the youth development programme.
In recent times it has borne fruit with Scotland internationals like Ryan Fraser, Ryan Jack and Scott McKenna being brought through.
They are good examples for the next crop of young players who are being given an opportunity.
If you’ve got the ability, belief and determination, then anything is possible.
Aberdeen as a club has shown they will give youth a chance and, with the direction Dave Cormack wants to go in, it seems that will continue under Stephen Glass’ management.
You can’t throw all your young players in at once, you have to pick the right occasions.
Glass was a young player coming through when I was Aberdeen manager and we knew he had potential and it was about finding the right time to put him in.
Sometimes it’s when the pressure is on and that young player can go in and prove he can mix it with the best.
I think that’s what you’ve seen recently with Ramsay and MacKenzie and that’s good for the development programme, the players and the team, because it brings a freshness.