Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin has stressed the need for focus from his players ahead of the return of Derek McInnes.
The Kilmarnock manager will take a team to Pittodrie for the first time since leaving the Dons in March 2021 after eight years at the helm.
McInnes won the League Cup, reached three more cup finals, achieved four runners-up places and did not finish outside the top four in the league.
Goodwin said: “I’ve never experienced it as a manager but I’ve certainly experienced it as a player where I went back to old grounds. There’s too many to mention, the amount of teams in England I got released by.
“But there’s always the bit between the teeth when you go back there to try and prove a point.
“No doubt Derek will maybe have that kind of mindset before the game but I would imagine Derek will have enjoyed his time at Aberdeen.
“He was maybe not best pleased with how it all panned out in the end but I know, from talking to people behind the scenes here, they have all got the utmost respect for the job he did.
“And he’s doing really good things now with Kilmarnock. It was excellent the way he turned them around last season to get them out of the Championship and he has made them very competitive in the Premiership.
“I’m not going to get too dragged into the whole thing with Derek coming back to Pittodrie. This is a massive game for me, my staff and this group of players that’s here right now, and we won’t allow ourselves to get distracted with other things that might be going on.
“Derek did well here at Aberdeen. All good things come to an end, that’s just life and that’s football.
“If I have the success he had and manage to stay here for eight years I will be delighted. Derek can certainly come back to Pittodrie with his head held high.”
Meanwhile, Goodwin could not comment on his Scottish Football Association disciplinary charges that resulted from his accusations of “blatant cheating” against Hibernian defender Ryan Porteous following his side’s 3-1 defeat at Easter Road.
Goodwin faces charges of offensive comments and not acting in football’s best interests in an October 6 hearing after claiming Porteous engineered a penalty.
The Irishman said: “I don’t like swerving questions, I always try and give you an honest answer but on this occasion I’m afraid I am limited to what I can say.
“Let’s just see what the outcome is and I will quite happily answer any questions after that.”
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