Derek McInnes admits Aberdeen have already blown one chance to stun the Old Firm this term – but he is determined they will not waste their next as they look to draw level with Celtic.
The Dons were faced with a striker crisis ahead of hosting Rangers on the opening day of the campaign and slumped to a 1-0 defeat.
But regardless of those injury woes, McInnes admits his Dons did not do enough to trouble the Light Blues back in July.
The Pittodrie outfit have, however, turned things around since then and can now pull up alongside Neil Lennon’s under-fire Hoops in second place in the Premiership with a victory when the champions travel north on Sunday.
But the Reds boss admits his team will need to show far more attacking threat than they managed against Steven Gerrard’s Premiership leaders.
He said: “We didn’t go into the Rangers game in perfect condition but we still should have offered far more of ourselves.
“For me it was a missed opportunity. We didn’t do anything that you’d need to do to win the game against an opponent like that.
“Rangers are a strong team, as are Celtic, and you have to do so many things right to overcome that – but we never gave ourselves a chance.
“It was only 1-0 and we restricted them to very few chances but we had to do more.
“That is a reminder that in every game you play, there has to be a balance in your approach and an intent has to be there.
“Hopefully we can implement that intent from the first minute on Sunday.”
Aberdeen have only dropped a further five points since that Rangers set-back, leading some to speculate whether they could again split the Glasgow giants this year.
But with just 10 games played, McInnes preferred not to add his name to the debate.
He said: “I think it’s too early to say with any certainty. I believe that this squad is capable of good things and can go the distance, competing right through the season.
“But the end of the season is the time to judge the squad and how we’ve been this season.”
McInnes has been sweating on the involvement of ex-Hoops winger Jonny Hayes and on-loan Leeds striker Ryan Edmondson for Sunday after the pair limped off against Hamilton in midweek.
But scans have revealed positive news and the Aberdeen boss says both have an outside chance of featuring this weekend.
“Johnny had an issue with his groin,” he explained. “We were hoping it wasn’t a tear and thankfully it’s not anything significant.
“So he will be fit for the Scottish Cup semi-final next week and still has a chance of being ready for this one.
“We’ll see how he is tomorrow. He’ll have to feel a lot better than he does today but he’s certainly not ruled out.
“Ryan will have to go through a similar process. He got scanned on the bridge of his foot. We were hoping there wasn’t a break and thankfully he’s just overstretched a tendon.
“So again it’s an injury that can settle down pretty quickly.”
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