Aberdeen hope big game experience gives them an edge over Morton

(from left) Ash Taylor, Wes Burns, Jonny Hayes and Kenny McLean
Aberdeen have competed regularly in Europe in the last three seasons
Scottish League Cup semi-final: Morton v Aberdeen
Venue: Hampden Park Date: Saturday, 22 October Kick-off: 12:15 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app; live text on BBC Sport website

Manager Derek McInnes hopes Aberdeen's big match experience will give his side the edge in Saturday's League Cup semi-final against Morton.

This is the Dons' third League Cup semi-final in four seasons, with McInnes lifting the trophy in 2014.

They have also finished second behind Premiership champions Celtic for two years in a row.

"In trying to sustain a challenge over the past couple of seasons, a lot of games were must win," said McInnes.

"We've handled the majority of them pretty well.

"Hopefully the maturity and experience of my team, and the demands we've had on us over the last few seasons, helps.

"It doesn't give us any guarantee, but I always feel in a semi-final you've got to handle the expectation."

Aberdeen defeated St Johnstone at this stage in 2014 before going on to beat Inverness CT on penalties in the final.

However, since then they have lost to St Johnstone in the Scottish Cup semi-final before a late defeat to Dundee United at Hampden last year.

Aberdeen lost to Dundee United in 2015
Aberdeen lost to Dundee United at the 2015 semi-final stage

In contrast, it is Morton's first semi-final in 35 years, but McInnes says his side will not be complacent.

"To reach four semi-finals is a huge improvement on what was being served up here previously," said McInnes. "Most Aberdeen teams going into a semi-final would be classed as favourites unless you're against the Old Firm.

"But whether we're underdogs or favourites we feel we're good enough to go and get another trophy.

"They (Morton) have beaten some good teams. They've beat Dundee United, Kilmarnock, to win 5-0 at the team at the top of the league away from home [Queen of the South] - it suggests there's work to be done to get through, this isn't a formality.

"A lot of our supporters won't be aware of all their players but we certainly are. We know every one of them, we know their strengths, their capabilities, they've got match winners in their team."

Aberdeen have criticised the kick-off time and choice of venue, with the Dons support facing an early start and lengthy journey to make it to Hampden for a lunchtime start.

McInnes sympathises with the fans who have chosen not to go, with the 52,000 capacity national stadium set to be less than half full.

"Our supporters have every reason not to go to this semi-final," he said. "I applaud and thank the 11,000 or so that's going to be there.

"The players will be so grateful when they see so many have made the effort down when there was so many reasons not to buy a ticket.

"This isn't any bigger for Morton. It's not their big day, it's our big day as well."

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