Dons can handle the pressure insists Mackay-Steven

Gary Mackay-Steven

Gary Mackay-Steven insists Aberdeen can handle the pressure of being favourites when they face Dundee United in the William Hill Scottish Cup on Sunday.

Mackay-Steven will face his former club, who are second in the Championship, for a place in the quarter-final and the Dons winger knows his side cannot afford to underestimate United.

He said: “We can’t take United lightly at all. They will want to show what they can do as the pressure is off but we don’t take any opponent lightly. We didn’t do that with St Mirren in the last round either; we will look at their strengths and weaknesses.

“It will nice to see a few old faces as a lot of the backroom staff are still there from when I was there but it won’t be an easy game as United will be fancying a cup run themselves and we will need to be at our best.

“It was always a game we looked forward to when I was at United and the games were exciting ones which could go either way. We’re looking forward to it but we want to score some goals and show what we can do.”

Mackay-Steven is looking forward to catching up with some old friends on and off the pitch when the Tannadice club visit Pittodrie including former team-mate Willo Flood who is likely to be his direct opponent after playing at right back in recent weeks.

The winger said: “That would be exciting coming up against Willo. I’ve had a few bruises from him back in the days as a team-mate and as an opponent.

“Willo is a great guy who did well here and at United and I’m sure he is helping the young lads there. The standards he sets, he will be demanding the best from everyone.”

Confidence is high in the Aberdeen camp as they bid to return to Hampden following last year’s final defeat to Celtic and Mackay-Steven insists there is a determination within his club to reach another final in May.

He said: “The Scottish Cup is massive and every game is a big game. We desperately want to win after going really close last year and there would be no better way to end the season than by lifting the cup but we’re a long way away form that at the moment.

“There are a lot of big games coming up and a lot to achieve, and we feel in a good position with what we have and how we are playing. We can’t wait for the big games to keep coming.”