Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson hopes to erase the painful memories of his side’s Betfred Cup final defeat by beating Celtic at Pittodrie today.
A Ryan Christie strike was the difference when the teams met at Hampden earlier this month but the Dons have an early chance to gain revenge in this afternoon’s Boxing Day showdown.
Victory would take the in-form Dons level on points with the league leaders and Ferguson admits he feels his side have a score to settle with Brendan Rodgers’ side after their Hampden heartache.
He said: “That one hurt and you’ll always remember it.
“I remember when we played Hearts at Tynecastle and they beat us and that one hurt.
“I remembered that when we played them again on Saturday and I wanted to go out and not feel like that again.
“I wanted to make them feel the way I did.
“It would be good to do that similar type of thing to Celtic because they won the cup.
“Credit to them they played well on the day but that hurt for us. We’re just looking to get a bit of payback.”
Dons manager Derek McInnes and captain Graeme Shinnie criticised Celtic defender Mikael Lustig and Hoops skipper Scott Brown for appearing to goad Ferguson towards the end of the cup final.
Ferguson said: “I’m not really bothered about Lustig. I never think of him.
“I just get on with my own game. I try and win for Aberdeen.
“ I’m not bothered about other players. I don’t really try and get involved with them. If he did come at me that game, I just took it in my stride. I’m not really fazed by anything like that.”
The former Hamilton midfielder says he would also relish the prospect of lining up against Brown if he features after being an unused substitute in Celtic’s 3-0 win against Dundee.
Ferguson added: “I just got stuck into him when he came on. I don’t really care what player it is.
“If I’m playing against somebody, I don’t mind if they give me it back. I quite enjoy that side of the game.
“I’ve not really got any thoughts about that. I like a tackle so I’m not really bothered about it.
“The gaffer and Doc have told me there will be players who will try and noise me up, but just stare at them and walk away and just do your business on the football side of things.
“Celtic are obviously one of the top sides in the league and so are we. I’m sure it’s going to be a top of the table clash, we just want to go and put in a similar performance to what we did against Hearts. They’re a decent side as well but we showed our quality and our hard work to get the result.”