Former Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood believes the Dons are far too strong to be caught by Rangers in the race to finish best of the rest in the Scottish Premiership.
The Dons are six points clear of the Ibrox side following Sunday’s 2-1 win at Kilmarnock with the Gers suffering a shock defeat by the same scoreline at Dundee later in the day.
There are still 39 points left to play for this season but Calderwood reckons it would take a major turnaround in fortunes at both clubs for the Dons to fail to finish second.
He said: “Aberdeen have already opened up a good gap and I think they deserve to finish second.
“They had a sticky patch after the League Cup final defeat by Celtic in November but they responded to that really well.
“Derek McInnes has a lot of very good players at his disposal and probably has enough quality for two strong teams.
“They play with a lot of pace and they are very strong defensively.
“I can’t see Rangers stopping them finishing second now.”
Calderwood has been impressed by the job carried out by Dons manager Derek McInnes and was unsurprised to see him tipped as a possible successor to Mark Warburton at Rangers.
But the 61-year-old, who spent five years in charge at Pittodrie from 2004 to 2009, believes the former St Johnstone and Bristol City manager would be reluctant to move on.
He said: “I am not at all shocked to see Derek linked with the Rangers job.
“I haven’t spoken to Derek for a while but I know he loves it at Aberdeen.
“He is having a great time and there aren’t many better clubs in Scotland than the Dons.
“The grass isn’t always greener.
“I loved every minute of my time in the city and I’m sure Derek is exactly the same.
“Given how well things are going for him, it would be a massive decision if he was to ever leave.”
The Dons take on another of Calderwood’s former clubs, Ross County, at Pittodrie on Saturday – and he does not expect Jim McIntyre’s side to prevent the Reds achieving a 10th win in 11 matches.
He added: “I think Aberdeen will be too strong for Ross County.
“They are playing with so much confidence and they have such a strong squad.
“I can’t see anything other than a home win.”