Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has urged his players to put their recent history of suffering cup exits against lower league opponents to an end by showing the country this is a Dons team to be reckoned with.
The nation will be watching tonight with the Dons’ League Cup tie at Falkirk being shown live on terrestrial television (7.15pm) with the memory of Celtic’s extra-time loss to Championship side Morton last night fresh in the memory.
McInnes knows why his side’s tie has been chosen and has challenged his players to impress in their televised trial.
He said: “The fact the game is on television suggests other people sense an upset as well.
“It’s something we are aware of, but we’ll go in expecting a tough match and if we can produce a performance we are capable of then we will have a great chance to progress.”
McInnes has been impressed by Gary Holt’s Bairns, who beat Championship promotion favourites Dundee on Saturday.
But he is confident his squad has the quality required to reach the quarter-finals of the competition.
He said: “We know Falkirk are a good side. They took care of Dundee at the weekend, who are among the favourites to go up.
“They have got a lot of good young players and we saw it last season, they put out a few decent teams on the way to the semi-final.
“It’s more or less the same squad this year so they will fancy their chances of taking care of us.
“I’ve played against Gary loads of times and he has been coaching for a while.
He’s changed the shape of the team from recent season but there’s a similar style and belief.
“They still want young players to have the confidence to get the ball down and play. He has his own ideas but this will be a game they will be relishing.
“I’ve been impressed with Falkirk’s youngsters any time I have seen them and I’m sure some of them will go on and have very good careers.
“Any cup tie is usually won by the better team and we will be concentrating on making sure that it us.”
Attacker Niall McGinn (bruised foot) and midfielder Barry Robson (knee) will have fitness tests before the game.
Alex Smith – Page 57