Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists his players are ready for their crusade to try to win the Scottish Cup.
The Dons return to duty this week following their short winter break with an annual training camp in Dubai but the focus is firmly on the national cup competition.
It is 30 years since Aberdeen last lifted the cup with former Dons captain Alex McLeish getting his hands on the trophy following a 9-8 penalty shoot-out victory against Celtic at Hampden.
The Dons have come close to getting their hands on the cup on a couple of occasions since with their last cup final appearance coming in a 2-1 loss to Celtic in 2017.
McInnes believes with each passing year the desire to end the long wait grows stronger.
He said: “It is a big thing and every year we don’t win it, it becomes not a concern but more of a crusade to get it done and to win the Scottish Cup.
“I think it is such an important and significant piece of silverware and hopefully one that this club can bring home. There will be a few teams in it who have the same aspirations.”
The road to Hampden is one which will no doubt be fraught and littered with challenges along the way and the first hurdle facing the Dons is League 1 side Dumbarton.
Aberdeen beat the Sons 1-0 in the quarter-final of the competition in 2014 and the Dons boss expects wily campaigner Jim Duffy to have his side well prepared for their trip north.
The Sons are mid-table in the third tier but McInnes knows their visit to Pittodrie on January 18 will be their cup final.
The Dons were held to a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie in the fourth round last year by League 1 opponents Stenhousemuir following a sluggish display before winning 4-1 in the replay and McInnes knows his side will need no reminder of the need to be ready.
McInnes said: “Everybody will want to win it and there will be a few who set out to win it and believe we can win it and we will be one of them.
“Hopefully, we can do that but we have to deal with whatever comes our way, starting with Dumbarton at home.
“We will be up against an experienced manager in Jim Duffy. He has been around the block and I am sure he will have no fears coming to us.
“Hopefully, have that motivation as we all do to try to win the Scottish Cup.”