Graeme Shinnie insists he will do all he can to help Aberdeen reach the Scottish Cup final – despite being suspended for this weekend’s semi-final against Celtic.
For the second year in a row, Shinnie will have to sit on the sidelines at Hampden after picking up two bookings during the tournament.
Shinnie was also banned for last year’s 3-0 defeat by Motherwell that ended his chances of playing in a third Scottish Cup final, with Kenny McLean and Shay Logan also sitting out.
A booking in the quarter-final replay against Rangers at Ibrox means he will miss Sunday’s contest against the Hoops.
He will travel with the team and be in the dressing room before kick-off, trying to assist in any way possible in getting Aberdeen past Celtic.
Shinnie said: “Missing it is horrendous. I missed a lot of games last year but league games are different – you can help the team afterwards.
“But in this game, it’s in or out and I can’t influence it at all.
“Watching the team lose to Motherwell last year was the toughest one I’ve had to watch.
“Even the build-up to it and the night before, not getting ready for the game was tough.
“The ruling is harsh. I’ve had five games with the replay on top and two yellows is a bit harsh. The rule will probably change next season.
“We’ll wait and see what happens on the day – there are so many boys waiting for their chance here at Aberdeen and so many that can step up. Hopefully I can go on to lead them out in a cup final.
“It’s a massive opportunity and the boys will be well up for it.
“All the results we’ve had in Glasgow against the Old Firm gives you that belief.
“It’s tough against Celtic at Hampden but it’s a game we know we can win.
“I’ll stay in the team hotel the night before, I’ll be in the dressing room. How much it helps, I don’t know.
“People use motivation in different ways but I’ll try my best to help the boys out because I can’t do it on the pitch.”
There is a degree of similarity for Shinnie to 2015, where he won the cup with Caley Thistle.
“Like Inverness four years ago, Aberdeen are chasing a European place, facing Celtic in the semi-final of the cup with Shinnie in the final months of his contract.
He added: “It’s weird it’s Celtic in the semi-final.
“I would like to be playing, like the Caley Thistle days, but I hope it’s a good omen.
“I’d do anything it takes to try get through. It will be a hard one to watch but hopefully the boys can do it.”