Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists he will know before a ball is kicked whether his players have the belief to beat Rangers tomorrow.
It’s a tall order against a Gers side scoring goals for fun but McInnes has urged his players to make amends for going down with a whimper at Ibrox in September by playing without fear at Pittodrie.
The Dons have already come up short in front of their own fans after losing 4-0 to Celtic at Pittodrie and McInnes hopes lessons have been learned.
He said: “It was a similar feeling after both Old Firm games as we have always prided ourselves on being close to Rangers and Celtic.
“You need your best players available but, regardless, it’s important we have the mindset that we are going to win.
“That’s what I’ve felt in the past before these games from my players. I need to feel that, in the dressing room and in the tunnel, we can make it a very important night for us.”
The Dons boss is counting on the fact his players will want to make amends for two meek displays in the Old Firm meetings so far and can rise to the occasion tomorrow.
He said: “When you sign players the attraction is to play in these sort of games and play against the best players in the country.
“That for me should be the attraction it was for them when they signed so let’s see it.”
The Dons boss knows what it takes to beat Rangers. He has done it consistently since they returned to the top flight. He also recognises the task now is greater than it has been at any point since the Gers won promotion to the Premiership in 2016 but with key performers such as Sam Cosgrove and Joe Lewis in his side the Aberdeen manager is approaching the game with confidence.
He said: “We know we have to do a lot right to make the game go our way.
“We have to be clinical. And we’ve got a boy at the top of the pitch who is in brilliant form. We’ve got a keeper who is second to none in the league. We’ve got good enough experience and some good individual players starting the game.
“So it’s important we bring it all together and give ourselves the best chance of getting the result we want.”