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McGINN’S CUP WARNING

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NIALL McGINN insists it is time Aberdeen turned the tables on his old club Celtic when they meet in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday, April 14.

Remarkably, the Dons have lost their last SEVEN clashes against the Hoops at the national stadium.

And the Northern Ireland winger reckons it’s time to they made up for 27 years of anguish with their last win against the Parkhead side coming in the 1992 League Cup semi-final when Eoin Jess claimed the only goal of the encounter.

But it has been disappointment all the way since that confrontation, with the latest setback for the Pittodrie side coming in the Betfred League Cup Final on December 2 when Ryan Christie volleyed in a spectacular trophy-winner.

McGinn paved the way for a last-four shoot-out with Neil Lennon’s men next month with a third-minute opener against Rangers in Tuesday night’s quarter-final replay at Ibrox.

Teenager Connor McLennan added a second to end Steven Gerrard’s side’s interest in what could have been their last hope of silverware in the Liverpool legend’s debut season in Scottish football.

McGinn, 31, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “We want to go a step further – we’ve got another opportunity to get to a Final and there’s no bigger task than beating Celtic.

WINNERS…Connor McLennan and Stevie May celebrate the teenager’s goal – the second in the 2-0 triumph over Rangers.

“Being at a big club like Aberdeen, you enjoy getting to semi-finals and Finals. Anything can happen in Finals and we had chances to win the game against Celtic in the Betfred League Cup.

“We’ll worry about that when it comes around, but we’re not far away. We’ll have to defend well and take our chances when they come around.”

Looking at recent visits to Parkhead and Ibrox, McGinn added: “Even in the last few years, that fear factor hasn’t been there. We’ve finished above Rangers in the league and on the road this season, we’re unbeaten in eight games.

“In my time here, we’ve won a couple of times, but coming off the back of a replay, it was an uphill task for us.

“We showed great maturity and composure to put on a performance like we did. We knew we’d have to take our chances – I’ve read the pass and took it well for the first goal.

“They threw everything at us, but we were solid, from Stevie May through to Joe Lewis, and to see out the game with a second goal was a bit of a cushion.

“For the young lads like Dean, Connor – even Max Lowe and Dom Ball – for them to play in front of a packed house is a great learning curve for them.

“For us older guys to see that is great for Aberdeen in the future. Nights like Tuesday they will always remember and take confidence from that.

“But, more importantly, we’re through to the next round and now we need to get back to winning ways in our league form and look forward to Saturday.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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