Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists his side’s Scottish Cup final heartache last year is driving the team on to get back to Hampden and win the competition this season.
The Dons eased through to the quarter-finals of the cup with a 4-2 win against Dundee United at Pittodrie yesterday and their reward for beating their Championship opponents is a quarter-final home tie against Kilmarnock.
McInnes says the 2-1 defeat to Celtic in the final has only made his side hungrier to return to Hampden.
He said: “We were runners-up in all competitions to Celtic last season but we gave a good account of ourselves in the Scottish Cup final right up to Tom Rogic’s winning goal.
“There was no shame in that as Celtic had a special season last year but it has whetted the appetite to get back there.
“We were fortunate to play four times at Hampden last season and we want to experience that again.”
McInnes is delighted to have progressed to the last eight but believes despite beating Killie home and away since Steve Clarke arrived, the Ayrshire club will be no pushovers at Pittodrie.
He said: “A home draw is always what you hope for. Steve Clarke is going well with Kilmarnock and although we have beaten them in our last two games it is always a tough game.
“I’m sure with a place in the semi-final at stake it will be even tougher in the quarter-final.
“They have been very impressive, very consistent, and results have come on the back of that.
“They are nice and compact and Kris Boyd carries a goal threat.
“They’ve been vastly improved since Steve came in and they’ll feel they’ve
got as good a chance as we have of reaching the semi-finals.
“You take who you get in this competition and we’re just happy to be in the running.
“It was a difficult surface and conditions were also difficult for both teams today so to come through the game and reach the last eight is very pleasing.
“Our attitude was fantastic but I felt sorry for both sets of players as the wind was holding the ball up.
“We didn’t see a quality game but did see some quality goals.”
Elsewhere in the draw, cup holders Celtic will host Championship outfit Morton while fellow second-tier side Falkirk’s reward for beating Cove Rangers on Saturday is a trip to Ibrox to face Rangers.
In the other quarter-final tie Craig Levein’s Hearts travel to Fir Park to face Motherwell.
The ties will be played the weekend of March 3 and 4.