Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes relishing Rangers clash
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes admits Sunday’s visit of Rangers is exactly the sort of big occasion he is determined to keep enjoying at Pittodrie.
The Dons go into the game looking to extend a 12-point lead over their opponents in the race to secure the Ladbrokes Premiership runners-up spot.
Aberdeen are looking to claim second place for a third consecutive season, having been denied by Motherwell in the final seconds of the 2013/14 campaign, and also have a William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Hibernian to look forward to.
They are also seeking an 11th consecutive home victory and McInnes believes his players will relish the opportunity to claim another important win.
“We always look forward to home games,” he said. “This game in particular is eagerly anticipated by the supporters and players alike.
“We see it as an opportunity to go and keep our winning run going and a chance to pick up another three points.
“We are up against a team who have a new manager but they have capable players, players who in bigger games can bring out a bigger performance. We have got to be aware of that.
“They have goal threats, they have players who can handle the ball well but we are at home, we are confident and we are on a good run. We understand the importance of the three points for ourselves.
“All that taken into consideration, a full house expected, at this stage of the season it is important we have big games and this feels like a big game and we look forward to it.”
Rangers defender Danny Wilson has warned his team-mates that Aberdeen always hit peak powers when they face his side.
He told his club’s official website: “I think that’s what you always get up there, they always seem to find that little bit extra against us so we’re going to have to be ready for that.
“I think the game at the start of the season against them probably didn’t go the way it should have with them scoring a last-minute winner.
“I felt we were really comfortable in the game and we had some great chances, but like I said it’s been a problem for us as we haven’t been able to take them.
“Hopefully on Sunday we can turn the tide on them a bit there.”
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha admitted on Friday that victory was essential if his side are to pip the Dons for second place and Wilson could not argue after consecutive draws against Motherwell and Kilmarnock saw them slip further behind.
“We’ve let ourselves down in the last wee while, dropping as many points behind them as we have,” the former Hearts player said.
“We have to win on Sunday, we know that, to have any chance of finishing second.
“It’s going to be a difficult task for us now, we have left ourselves a bit of an uphill struggle, but if we can win on Sunday that maybe puts a doubt in their mind and we can build some momentum.”