Aberdeen: Adam Rooney says the players will 'use last season as a motivation'

Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney
Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney has scored once in six appearances this season

Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney says the pain of losing two cup finals last season will drive the team in their quest for silverware in this campaign.

Celtic defeated Aberdeen in the finals of the League Cup and Scottish Cup, the latter with a last-minute goal.

"It's something we have to use as motivation to try to go one better in both competitions," Rooney said.

"All the lads are desperate to get another day out at Hampden and get the fans back down there."

The League Cup offers the first opportunity, with Aberdeen travelling to Fir Park to face Motherwell in Thursday evening's quarter-final.

Derek McInnes's side felt they underperformed in the final of the competition last season, losing 3-0 to Celtic at Hampden.

Aberdeen players at Hampden for 2017 Scottish Cup final
Adam Rooney says the Aberdeen players will use the disappointment of losing last season's Scottish Cup final as "extra motivation"

They used that setback to inspire their run to the Scottish Cup final, to try to make up for the disappointment, and ran Celtic close before losing 2-1.

"In the last couple of years we've done well in the cups and we feel we have a squad capable of winning," Rooney said.

"The League Cup final last year was disappointing; we felt we never did ourselves justice. After that, we used that as motivation to try to get ourselves back, which we did.

"Our aim every year is to get to the final and give ourselves the chance of winning some silverware. We managed to do that last season and it was disappointing not to get something. This year is another target and we'll use that disappointment as an extra motivation."

Aberdeen remain unbeaten in all competitions this season, but are expecting a searching challenge from a Motherwell side that has lost only two of their 11 games so far and has taken 10 points out of 12 in their last four Premiership games.

'Moult and Bowman work well together'

Rooney, a regular goalscorer himself, admires the qualities and partnership of Motherwell's strike duo, Louis Moult and Ryan Bowman.

"It's going to be a difficult game, as it always is down at Motherwell. We know they're on a good run, but we're confident," Rooney said.

"[Moult] and Bowman have done very well. They cause a lot of problems, they work well together and that's something we're aware of.

"But we have our own attacking threats and I'm sure Motherwell will be paying attention to ours. They work well as a team, they're on a good run, they'll be confident going into the game but so are we and we need to go there with the belief that we can get into the next round."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was interested in signing Moult during the summer, but ultimately added Nicky Maynard and Stevie May to his forward options.

He is wary of the threat that Moult poses, having scored seven goals in 10 games this season and sitting only one goal behind Premiership top scorer Alfredo Morelos of Rangers.

Motherwell strikers Ryan Bowman and Louis Moult
Motherwell strikers Ryan Bowman and Louis Moult have scored 11 goals between them this season

"They have a physical threat but they are a very fit and organised team," McInnes said of Motherwell.

"Holding on to Louis Moult was key to the system they are playing, he's obviously a talisman figure for them and he carries that real goal threat.

"With him and Bowman up top, they bring that physical element to their play right away. They engage with them really quickly, they get the ball forward into them and you have to deal with that first pass up.

"They have good energy in the middle of the park and a decent level of experience, and what they have got is a real understanding of their roles within the team.

"They are more than Louis Moult. He is the one that predominantly scores the goals and he's so important for them, but he is ably supported by a lot of good players.

"There's no doubt Louis Moult is a good player, and that is why we were keen to work with him, but we couldn't afford it and we move on. Motherwell have done well to hold on to him."

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