Last Updated: 30/11/18 6:22pm
Celtic and Aberdeen will meet at Hampden Park in the Scottish League Cup final on Sunday, with Derek McInnes hoping to draw inspiration from Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson delivered some words of comfort to the Aberdeen boss two years ago after the Dons lost 3-0 to Celtic at the same stage.
The former Scotland and Manchester United boss told McInnes his players would be better-placed to compete in finals the more they play at Hampden, having played there more four times since.
McInnes said: “I always remember Sir Alex saying to me after we lost the 3-0 game against Celtic, that only by revisiting surroundings that players start to feel home and be more capable of delivering a performance.
“He said he had umpteen international players, players who had played 400-500 top-flight games, who didn’t turn up in a final. He said sometimes it can happen but by revisiting them you get more familiar with your surroundings.
“It has helped us being here so often in the last wee while. It doesn’t give you any guarantees or real advantage on the day because you have to do all the things we spoke about but I certainly think it doesn’t do any harm.
“Even my players involved in the national team recently and training here for a few days and being involved in a couple of positive results – (Scott) McKenna, (Graeme) Shinnie, (Michael) Devlin for a spell, Gary Mackay-Steven – all that helps because we know Celtic have that.”
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has praised his team’s relentless hunger as they aim to win a seventh consecutive domestic trophy.
“It shows incredible consistency and hunger, which is what you want as a manager,” Rodgers said. “When we first came in, we set our targets together in relation to being the very best we can be.
“Celtic is obviously a winning club, so when you play for Celtic you have to win. But of course we want to win in the best way we possibly can, which is playing a really aggressive, attacking style of football.
“So nothing has changed in terms of how we set out from the beginning. But what has been admirable has been the focus of the players and the intensity in which they have just kept going, kept going and keep winning titles.
“And we don’t aim to stop. Our idea is to have that hunger to keep going and we want to do that again come Sunday.”
Michael Devlin is a doubt for Aberdeen, with McInnes saying he will prepare for both eventualities to either have him in the squad or not.
Scott Bain will start in goal for Celtic after playing in all of the earlier rounds. Captain Scott Brown is also looking to regain his starting place after making his comeback from injury in the final 13 minutes of Celtic’s Europa League win over Rosenborg on Thursday.
Jozo Simunovic, Mikey Johnston and Marvin Compper are unlikely to feature because of fitness issues while Nir Bitton is in the early stages of his comeback from knee trouble. Kristoffer Ajer (fractured eye socket), Eboue Kouassi and Daniel Arzani (both knee) remain out.