Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes wants his Reds to show they can beat Dundee in front of their own support at Pittodrie today.
The Dark Blues were a thorn in the Dons’ side last season, eliminating Aberdeen from the Scottish Cup and drawing with them three times in the league, twice at Pittodrie.
Paul Hartley’s side’s ability to frustrate the Dons has not been forgotten and McInnes has challenged his players to show they have improved on the previous campaign by beating the Dark Blues in front of the Reds support today.
The Dons manager said: “They have got a goal threat at the top end of the pitch and can make the game open which means we will have to have the balance right between attacking and defending.
“I’ve watched them twice this season and they are going to be tough opponents for everybody. We are going to have to bring a strong performance against them as, while they didn’t beat us in the league last season, other than Celtic they took more points off us than anyone else.
“The support has been great so far with big turnouts in the recent games and it is important we use that to our advantage. It is important the team brings a performance the crowd expects and if things go well hopefully we can entertain them and give them another win.”
Former Don Nicky Low will miss out on a return to Pittodrie due to injury but McInnes is impressed by the new arrivals at Dens Park in the close season and expects Hartley’s side to have a strong campaign.
But he insists his team has also improved on last season and is eager to see his players show it.
He said: “Dundee are a good team. They’ve shown they can handle playing against any opposition and get results. We’ve improved and they have, too.
“Paul Hartley has made good signings and he has a good level of experience in his squad and a lot of ability with individual players who can win games for them.
“There will be a lot of good players on show and I think you’ll see an entertaining game.
“Last season Paul made a lot of changes and identified the need to overhaul the squad to deal with the Premier League and they managed that convincingly and finished comfortably in the top six.
“With that performance comes more demand and expectation for them but that’s just the way it is. I’m convinced they will meet that expectation.
“We are going to have to produce a performance to give us a chance to get a result.”