Aberdeen winger Niall McGinn believes Sunday’s Betfred Cup semi-final win against Rangers has set the standard his side needs to achieve on a regular basis in the Scottish Premiership.
The Dons booked their place in the December 2 final against holders Celtic with a 1-0 win at Hampden and McGinn, whose corner was headed home by Lewis Ferguson for the winning goal, insists his club must build on their dramatic win.
The Northern Ireland international, whose side host Hamilton Accies at Pittodrie tomorrow, said: It’s been a stop-start season. Games like Sunday can only give us confidence. We need to go again Wednesday and then we can enjoy the final when it comes around.
“Semi finals are always tough but we have to take confidence from beating an improved Rangers side who have started the season very well and done well in Europe.
“For us to come to Hampden and win is a massive scalp. We now have to dust ourselves down and look forward to Wednesday night.
“We want to get our league form back on track. Then we can look forward to the cup final.
“It has been an interesting start to the season. Hearts have started really well and got themselves in front, Hibs are strong again this season, and Rangers are stronger than they were.
“We are strong too and Kilmarnock are doing well again. It’s going to be an interesting league this season with everyone beating everyone.
“It’s still very early in the season and we want to concentrate on ourselves. We don’t want a gap opening up on other teams. We just look forward to Wednesday.”
The final meeting against Celtic will be the first time the two sides have faced each other at Hampden since Tom Rogic’s late winner secured the first of back-to-back trebles for Brendan Rodgers’ side in 2017.
McGinn is determined to use the anguish he felt to inspire him to go one better and end the Hoops’s domestic dominance in December.
He said: “We have been fortunate enough at Aberdeen that we have had the chance to play in semi-finals and finals. A lot of players don’t get that that chance to get back to finals and make amends.
“We have just got to take confidence from beating Rangers but also use the heartache of losing finals before to Celtic. We want to use that to our advantage.
“We are looking forward to the game when it comes around in December. We know it will be difficult. Celtic are a difficult side.
“They have maybe not started the season as well as they would have liked but it’s a cup final and anything can happen.”