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Pressure on Bhoys to avoid an anti-climax, maintains McInnes


Seed of doubt: Derek McInnes

Seed of doubt: Derek McInnes

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Seed of doubt: Derek McInnes

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes claims Celtic's campaign will finish on a major anti-climax if they lose to his side in the William Hill Scottish Cup final.

And the Dons boss claims his own team's season will be deemed a success even if they finish runners-up to Celtic in a third competition.

Aberdeen are the only obstacle to Celtic completing an unprecedented undefeated domestic campaign and McInnes aims to sow some seeds of doubt early on at Hampden today.

McInnes said: "I think the level of player they have and the performances they have produced, anything other than a treble would be extremely disappointing for them.

"While we put ourselves under pressure to deliver, we have had a very good season and we will still have a very good season if we lose. But we can have a brilliant season, a season to remember, a special season, by winning this.

"And I think it would be a real anti-climax and not something that was expected if Celtic weren't to complete a treble. I think more Celtic teams should have won the treble in the last few years and for whatever reason they haven't.

"This Celtic team have been very sharp with their work, very focused, very confident and they don't give much encouragement to their opponents. We have got to try and find a way to out that seed of doubt in their mind that it's not going to be their day."

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Aberdeen have not won the Scottish Cup for 27 years but McInnes and his team ended a 19-year trophy drought when they won the League Cup in 2014 and the Dons boss feels there is not nearly as much pressure now.

"The players have been relaxed," said McInnes, whose team have won 20 of their last 25 games. "I'm taking strength from the confidence of the team and the performances we have had of late.

"It's our fourth visit to Hampden this season, we have won two and lost one, and winning at Ibrox last week was important as well. So I actually feel we couldn't be more ready.

"But we have still got to beat the best team."

Aberdeen have not done that in five matches this season, including the Betfred Cup final when they were well-beaten 3-0.

"We have tried different ways, as you do," he said. "You can't just re-visit the same system all the time if it's not finding the answers. I do take strength from the last couple of games.

"We probably need a near-perfect performance from the majority. I firmly believe there is a performance in us that can beat them."