Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes said he is hoping to leave Hampden today as joyful as he was when he walked out of Tynecastle in January 2014.
The Dons face Morton in Glasgow at lunchtime in the semi-finals of the Betfred Scottish League Cup.
It is the third time McInnes has led the club to the last four of the competition.
They beat St Johnstone 4-0 at Hearts’ ground at the start of 2014 on the road to lifting the trophy.
Two goals by Jonny Hayes and strikes by Peter Pawlett and Adam Rooney sent the Red Army into raptures.
However, their hopes of becoming the first Aberdeen side to successfully defend the League Cup were then wrecked when Dundee United beat them 2-1 at Hampden in the semis the following season.
McInnes believes having players in the squad who shared his joy and pain on those two occasions will help their bid to beat Morton and set up a final clash with Celtic or Rangers.
He said: “The semi-final at Tynecastle would be in my top three games since I became manager of Aberdeen. We were fantastic that day.
“The players who were involved will remember how good it felt coming off knowing we had made it to the final.
“They will want to feel as good as I did when I looked over and saw the Aberdeen fans celebrating in Edinburgh.
“The semi-final at Hampden wasn’t such a good memory for some of them.
“We were good enough for long spells in the game and I was annoyed a couple of key decisions went against us.
“But the fact was we just didn’t do enough over the whole 90 minutes to get ourselves through.
“Hopefully, the pain of what happened that day will still be fresh enough to ensure the players are at their very best for the entire match today to get us into another cup final.”
McInnes confirmed nothing has been left to chance against Championship opponents he rates very highly.
He said: “The final message given to the players will be the same as it is ahead of every game.
“They will be expected to go out there, show confidence on the ball and work hard when we don’t have it. We will be looking for them to make things happen.
“That will be an extra challenge for the players because they aren’t as familiar with Morton as they might have been had we been up against a Premiership side.
“We have tried to overcome that by getting as much information as we possibly can on Morton. We would normally send a scout to watch any future opponents.
“But we’ve had the same scout at Morton’s last four games.
“Our chief scout Russ Richardson also went along with him to watch their 5-0 victory over Queen of the South last weekend.
“We have also watched footage of the whole of that match.
“The players will be well versed on Morton’s capabilities.
“They will have an idea of the systems they play and the strengths and weaknesses of their individual players.
“However, that can only help them so much.
“Once the players are out there it will come down to who wants to win it the most.”
McInnes is also relishing his own tactical battle with Morton boss Jim Duffy, a man he respects very highly.
He said: “Jim has put his stamp all over them.
“They are hard-working, committed and know their jobs.
“Morton are particularly dangerous at set-plays.
“You can see in those situations how hard Jim has worked with them on the training pitch. It will be a challenge showing we can deal with whatever they may have planned.”
The Dons have been boosted by the return of skipper Ryan Jack, who is fully fit again after two months out with a knee injury.
But Jack may have to be content with playing a supporting role at Hampden.
McInnes said: “It’s good to have Ryan back competing for a place in a key area of the side.
“But we have to be mindful of the amount time he has been out.
“There has also been a lot to be pleased with by the way Kenny McLean and Graeme Shinnie have performed during Ryan’s absence.
“For me, Kenny has been outstanding in our last few games.
“He’s had to adjust his natural game but he and Graeme have formed a strong partnership in the middle of the park.”