Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists any win will do as he rallies his depleted squad for tonight’s Betfred Cup quarter-final at Hearts.
The Dons head to Tynecastle without key defenders Scott McKenna and Ash Taylor and midfielders Craig Bryson and Funso Ojo for their biggest game of the season.
The Aberdeen boss knows a testing physical evening awaits but he has backed his understrength team to progress to the semi-final draw which will be made following the quarter-final ties tonight.
He said: “I just want us to go and win a cup tie. Cup football, fans get behind their team. You’re either in or you’re out. It’s difficult enough at Tynecastle.
“I was getting frustrated with some of the stuff on Saturday (in the 2-0 win at Livingston) but I also know how difficult it was for my players. We’re trying to manage the situation at the moment with certain injuries and we’re trying to find a way to win.
“We tried on Saturday to play the best way we thought, which was to keep a clean sheet. After we got the first goal, it was up to Livingston to do something different. We put that at risk but we won the game.
“I would expect the Hearts fans to get behind their team. It’s up to us to try and win the game, regardless of what’s happening in the stands. It’s all about winning for us.”
McInnes would prefer a stylish victory but he is happy to accept one of substance if it means his side progresses to the last four of the competition.
He said: “We know that we’ve got good performances in us. Hearts will see this as a real opportunity to reach a semi and sometimes when the stakes are high in cup football, that competitive part of the game is more prevalent than the technical part. I’m hoping we can show both sides of that when it’s required.
“I actually thought we played well here against Hearts. The three home games we’ve had, we’ve played some good stuff. Ross County, Hearts, and half a game against St Johnstone, I thought we were very good at moving the ball.
“I know things will improve. I know we’ll get players back soon enough. After the international break, we’ll have McKenna, Taylor, Bryson and Stephen Gleeson. I know the situation will improve by the time the semi-finals come around.
“We want to make sure that we’re in it. I’ve got a squad of players here who are good enough to get into a semi-final. Despite the difficulties, I’m confident we can go to Tynecastle and produce the level of performance required.”
McInnes has an unchanged squad from the weekend.