DEREK McINNES is hoping his Aberdeen team can derail the Celtic surge towards their sixth successive title at Pittodrie at High Noon tomorrow.
But the Dons boss accepts the crown is heading back to the east end of Glasgow with the Champions aiming for a victory that would put them 10 points clear of his side with a game in hand.
McInnes said: “It is understandable that people believe Celtic will win the league.
“At a canter? I don’t think it is disrespectful, although I do feel it is up to us and others to do all we can to make sure that isn’t the case.
“Only a fool would say Celtic aren’t going to win the league the way they have started the season, but we all have responsibilities to make sure it is not too comfortable for them, either.
“They have little bits of doubt throughout the season and there is no better time than when you play them yourself.
“You can leave your mark on them and do damage to them by winning the game and that is our intention for Saturday. That helped us stay with Celtic last season.
“They didn’t win the league until three games to go and us beating them twice at Pittodrie was a big part in that.
“You look at leagues all over Europe and normally by Christmas there are one or two dominant teams who are stretching away from everybody else.
“That is how it is in most countries, but for us to try and stay with Celtic it is going to be difficult.
“I have always said Celtic will need to have a poorer season by their standards for others to get close to them, but they actually have improved and that makes the challenge more difficult.
“Still, I don’t think we should just roll over, either. We have a bit of pride in ourselves and we want to give them something to think about.
“The only time we can really do that is when we play them and, hopefully, we can do that on Saturday.”
Celtic lost on both visits to Aberdeen last season and having recently beaten Rangers at Pittodrie the Dons fans will be looking to continue their excellent recent home record against the Glasgow sides.