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Derek McInnes boosted by support as Aberdeen prepare for Celtic final
Derek McInnes is inspired by having the city of Aberdeen behind his side as they prepare for the Betfred Cup final against Celtic on Sunday.
Over 20,000 of the Red Army will travel to Hampden Park looking to see their side lift silverware for the second time in three seasons, with many more behind in the Granite City following the game on radio and television.
The Dons are sitting behind Celtic at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership but the Pittodrie boss is hoping to reward the fans and the city by bringing the cup north again.
"That's the beauty of a cup run," said McInnes, who took over as manager in 2013.
"I said this at the end of last season and the beginning of this season, as good as we were in the league last year, you don't get the same bounce in momentum if you don't do well in the cups.
"We have been involved in a few semi-finals since we came in.
"This is now our second cup final so there is a feelgood factor, a momentum the energy a cup run can create is important for a lot of clubs but especially for us."
McInnes has the luxury of a fully-fit squad.
Ash Taylor gave himself a chance of playing at Hampden after returning from a hamstring injury for the final 15 minutes of last weekend's victory over Inverness.
Niall McGinn could come back into the starting line-up after coming off the bench in the Highlands.
Scott Sinclair is a major doubt for Celtic.
The Hoops midfielder had to come off at half-time against Barcelona at Parkhead on Wednesday night with a hamstring problem and will be given every chance to make it.
Striker Leigh Griffiths returns to the squad after recovering from a tight hamstring which has kept him out the last two games while left-back Kieran Tierney is out long term with an ankle injury.
Brendan Rodgers believes Celtic will shrug off their European exit in midweek to focus on winning the first domestic trophy of the season.
The Hoops' 2-0 defeat by Barcelona meant the Scottish champions, with the last fixture at Manchester City remaining, will finish bottom of Group C with no European football after Christmas.
However, the champions take on Aberdeen on Sunday and Rodgers insists their European disappointment will have no bearing on their determination for success.
"We haven't really reflected on it as of yet," he said. "I felt the players were very good in the game in terms of the performance, but we have another game to go in the competition and we will reflect a little bit more after that in terms of where it is.
"Our ambition and hunger have been very much evident since the beginning of the season.
"It's no more or less, it's as it has been for every game we have played.
"This again, is a chance for us to get our hands on the trophy and is something we are looking forward to."