Aberdeen: St Mirren a top-flight side in waiting, says Aberdeen's Derek McInnes
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes reckons facing St Mirren in the Scottish Cup will prove as tough as taking on a top-flight side.
Championship leaders Saints visit Pittodrie on fourth round duty at lunchtime on Saturday.
"They look like a Premiership team in waiting so that shows the task we're facing," McInnes told Red TV.
"But we're always confident at home and we want to do well in the Scottish Cup, it's about showing that confidence."
Jack Ross took over as St Mirren boss in October 2016, with the Buddies bottom of the Championship table, but guided them to a seventh place finish and safety that season.
They went into Saturday's match at Dumbarton five points clear of Dundee United.
"Nobody here thinks it's going to be a straightforward game, we have work to do," added McInnes, whose side finished runners-up to Celtic in the Scottish Cup last season.
"We're making sure we're as ready as we can. Jack has done a great job there, turned round the fortunes and made some good signings. He has a good midfield and real attacking threats.
"They have good organisation about them and the added thing of having the confidence of being at the top of their own division and winning most weeks - we're well aware of that."
Nwakali, signed on loan from Manchester City, has yet to be granted a work permit.
"We're hopeful we can get Chidi fit and available for the cup game, that was the intention when we signed him and that's what we're working towards," McInnes added.
"We're confident the process will go in our favour, although there may be a bit more mileage in that one.
"We feel that Niall will be involved, or certainly has a right good chance of being involved, in the cup game.
"With Stevie, it's a more delicate situation and we don't want to move forward and come back again. We still hope he can play a part against St Mirren, but Niall is probably slightly ahead of him."