Marley Watkins is determined to repeat history with Aberdeen – five years after knocking out Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final.
Dons loanee Watkins was part of the Caley Thistle side who defeated the Hoops in controversial circumstances at Hampden Park.
Although Inverness won 3-2 at the home of Scottish football, en-route to winning their first major silverware against Falkirk in the final, their achievement was overshadowed by the handball controversy surrounding Josh Meekings.
Watkins played a key role that day, running clear of the Celtic defence only to be cleaned out by goalkeeper Craig Gordon. The latter was sent off with his side 1-0 up, with Greg Tansey levelling the scores from the spot.
Aberdeen head to Hampden on Sunday on the back of a 3-3 draw with Neil Lennon’s men at Pittodrie, giving confidence to the squad they can overcome the same opponent and meet either Hearts or Hibernian in the final.
Watkins, who scored the opener in the 2015 final, has fond memories of that cup run and wants to help his Aberdeen team-mates make their own bit of history.
He said: “It was a great day. It felt like us against the world. There were all the Celtic fans in the stadium. It was a great game and obviously we had a bit of luck, which I think you need against clubs like Celtic. It was just a great day, very memorable.
“You obviously have to show them respect but at the same time be aggressive and show no fear.
“This semi-final will be a chance to do something special and deliver for the fans and the club and try to make a bit of history for Aberdeen again. It’s exciting, to be fair.
“It’s important for the club and we can do something special. It’s going to be difficult but anything can happen in the Cup.”
“I’ve just got good memories from that season. But I think the best is yet to come.
“I’ve got a lot of good memories from football but also a few bad ones. It’s about highs and lows in this game. Winning the Scottish Cup that year was definitely a great memory.”
Watkins came up close and personal with his former Caley Thistle team-mate Ryan Christie on Sunday, as he netted from the spot in the 3-3 thriller.
Christie had two loan spells with Aberdeen under Derek McInnes but was cup-tied for the last time they made the Scottish Cup final in 2017, which the Dons lost 2-1 to his parent club Celtic.
Watkins added: “I remember how much of a talent Ryan was. He was quality in training and, to be fair, just look at what he’s doing now. He’s playing on a big stage and he’s like the main man at Celtic.
“Ryan’s a great lad and he fully deserves what he gets. I know he did a lot of extra training at Inverness while his Dad’s also been good for him, guiding him well.
“Ryan’s just a great lad and a great talent.”