The time for talking is over.
After almost five months the Scottish Premiership is back and Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has urged his side to get the new season off to a flying start by beating Rangers at Pittodrie today (12.30pm).
The Dons face Steven Gerrard’s side in a tantalising opener to the new campaign and McInnes has called for a committed display against the Gers at Pittodrie.
He said: “The last couple of games we’ve played Rangers we’ve picked up a point apiece both in the game at Ibrox and at Pittodrie. We had to produce a 90 minute performance at Ibrox to get a point and we produced a 60 minute performance at Pittodrie to come back from 2-0 down to get something from the game.
“But to beat a team like Rangers you have to produce a performance and do a lot of things right to win the game. We’re hoping that can be us on Saturday and we can pick up all three points.”
Unlike any other Aberdeen match against the Light Blues there will be no atmosphere to set pulses racing. The adrenaline, the sense of occasion, the performance, must all come from within the squad and McInnes knows the eerie atmosphere will be a step into the unknown for both teams.
He said: “I don’t think we’ll know until Saturday. It’s a fixture that thrives on the atmosphere. You always look forward to that fixture.
“It can boil over at times, but that comes from the atmosphere on the sides and that generates the intensity in the game.
“I think what we’ll see is the importance of getting off to a good start. There are a lot of good players on both sides and the motivation will be there from both teams.”
McInnes needs no reminder of the threat in the Rangers forward line but despite being without Sam Cosgrove and Curtis Main due to injury the Dons boss believes his can also ask questions of the opposition.
He said: “Any time you play Rangers when Alfredo Morelos is in the team, and Ianis Hagi has been added and scored a couple of goals in pre-season, there is a threat.
“There is a lot of fluidity and talent so we are mindful of the movement and problems they can cause any team.
“We look at each game on its merit and each opponent. That is a particular strength of Rangers so we have to be mindful of that.
“Last time out we played them there was full concentration at Ibrox and we got a clean sheet there.
“There were a lot of good players playing that day as well. We expect to have to defend well but we also expect to play the game in their half as well and ask the question.
“I am just concentrating on my team. We have to be mindful of our job, our standards and our ability to perform. That is what we will concentrate on.”