Winger Niall McGinn is still haunted by the disappointment of losing last season’s Scottish Cup final – and is gunning for retribution by lifting the trophy this time.
McGinn is set to start for the Reds in the semi-final against Motherwell at Hampden tomorrow.
Aberdeen lost 2-1 to Celtic in the end-of-season showpiece with Tom Rogic netting an injury-time winner.
That cup final agony appeared to be the 30-year-old’s last act as an Aberdeen player.
He had rejected the offer of a new Dons contract and eventually moved to Gwangju in South Korea.
However, he made a shock return to Pittodrie on a three-and-a-half-year contract during the January transfer window.
He admits the memory of that final loss to Celtic is driving him to go one better this time.
McGinn said: “Last season the Scottish Cup final was a massive disappointment and is still fresh in our memories.
“However, getting to two cup finals was important for the club.
“We want to go one step further and pick up the trophy.
“We’ve got a good opportunity against Motherwell and we know if we show up well, we are capable of getting to the final.”
Motherwell will finish the Premiership campaign in the bottom six but Aberdeen’s progress to the final is no foregone conclusion.
Earlier this season the Steelmen demolished the Dons 3-0 at Fir Park to send them crashing out of the League Cup at the quarter-final stage.
McGinn, who was in South Korea at the time of that cup exit, said:
“It’s going to be an anxious game and both teams will be setting out to defend properly and hopefully the technical players can take over.
“We had that 3-0 defeat earlier on in the season to put us out of the League Cup, but it showed how well the boys did to bounce back a few days later with them going down to Motherwell and being difficult to beat.
“I know Stephen Robinson (Motherwell manager) well as he was part of the Northern Ireland set-up. He works very hard on shape and organisation.
“He leaves no stone unturned and you can see that in his Motherwell team.
“Every player knows their role in the side.
“Previous results don’t matter – it’s down to tactics and who shows up player-wise.”
McGinn reckons the Dons will not buckle under the pressure to reach a second successive Scottish Cup final.
“There’s always pressure with semis and finals, but we have had the experience of getting to finals,” he said.
“Over the last few years we’ve won a cup and been continuously in semis, so days at Hampden are the ones you want to be involved in.
“There is no real added pressure because it’s been the norm over the last couple of years at this club.
“We’ve just got to go there – and the most important thing is getting the win.”