Former Aberdeen striker Billy Dodds reckons the Dons stand their best chance of lifting the Betfred Cup by attacking Celtic in Sunday’s final at Hampden Park.
Celtic are strong favourites to win the first domestic silverware of the season when they face Derek McInnes’ side, with the Reds boss aiming to secure the second trophy of his five-and-a-half year Pittodrie tenure.
Brendan Rodgers’ men twice got the better of Aberdeen in finals during the 2016-17 campaign, with the Dons comfortably defeated 3-0 in the League Cup final prior to a far closer late 2-1 loss in the Scottish Cup six months later.
Dodds, who won the competition with the Dons in 1995, says McInnes must set his side out with a plan to hurt the on-form Hoops.
Dodds said: “The one thing the Aberdeen fans will not want is to go there and they’ve not really had a go at winning it.
“They have to get the balance right between the League Cup final two years ago when they didn’t have a go, and the Scottish Cup final when they did.
“You can’t have Aberdeen turning up and just hoping to defend against Celtic for 90 minutes. They will end up probably getting picked off at some point.
“They have to have a go, because they gave Celtic a right scare in the Scottish Cup.
“They don’t want a repeat of the League Cup final when they hardly turned up on the day.
“That’s so disappointing for a manager. Celtic can do that to you, but Aberdeen have got to make sure they give something to the game.
“If they do they have got a chance, there’s no doubt.”
Celtic are hunting a third domestic treble under Rodgers this season, and Dodds feels McInnes must try to turn the pressure on the Parkhead men, who face a quick turnaround after last night’s Europa League group stage match against Rosenborg.
He added: “We have been asking for a while, who is going to be the first team to take the treble-treble off Celtic?
“There is a certain amount of pressure on Celtic, but Brendan Rodgers couldn’t have them in as good a place. If they had played this final three months ago you’d have thought it would have been a bit closer.
“There’s that pressure of the treble treble, and the European fatigue. That’s what Aberdeen are hoping, and that they get Celtic on an off day where they are not really firing.
“You’ve got to fill your players with confidence with these things, and make your players believe they are capable of winning it.”
Aberdeen go into the final on the back of a deflating 3-0 loss to Motherwell at Fir Park last weekend, and Dodds added: “The players have to show a response – a bit like the Motherwell players did after their 7-1 thumping against Rangers.
“Aberdeen have to do the exact same against Celtic. For the players, it’s a kick up the backside.”