Paul Hartley has backed Greg Stewart to deliver the quality that puts Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup final.
Former Dons captain Hartley signed Stewart for Dundee and reckons if called upon, he can deliver the goods to see off Celtic.
Stewart joined Dundee from Cowdenbeath after their promotion to the top tier of Scottish football in 2014. He proceeded to score 15 goals and was the club’s top scorer as they finished in the top six.
In his second season, he formed a partnership with Kane Hemmings that contributed 23 goals to the Dark Blues’ cause, earning Stewart a move to Birmingham City and Hemmings a switch to Oxford City.
Two loan spells with Aberdeen have yielded only five goals in 51 games for Stewart but Hartley reckons his quality cannot be doubted.
He said: “I know Greg personally and he’s a quality player. If given the opportunity (on Sunday) he’s got the quality to make a difference. He started the season really well at Killie then had the move to Aberdeen in January, where he’s probably not scored as many goals as he would like.
“I think he’s better as a striker. We had him there at Dundee but we played him on the right at times, where he can come in on his left foot.
“He came from Cowdenbeath and did brilliantly, coming from being a part-time player. He was a big player for me and got a good move to Birmingham. He came to Aberdeen last season and it didn’t quite work out but I know the quality Greg has.”
Caley Thistle’s Scottish Cup semi-final with Hearts is far from a straightforward call, according to Hartley.
The ex-Jambos midfielder, who interviewed for the Caley Thistle job in 2013, believes the onus is on Hearts to go and get a result.
The club’s last silverware came in this competition in 2012, in which they beat Edinburgh rivals Hibernian 5-0 and current Inverness goalkeeper Mark Ridgers was an unused substitute.
He said: “Inverness have got a good cup pedigree and a Hearts legend as manager, facing his old team. The onus is on Hearts, with the quality and the size of their squad. It will be a tough one for them – it’s not as straightforward as people think.
“Inverness have got a good style and players that have played in the Premiership. Robbo will have them well-drilled and he will know how Hearts play inside out.
“The last bit of silverware (for Hearts) was in 2012 and it’s a big game for them and their supporters. They will outnumber the Caley Thistle fans on the day.”