Aberdeen V Inverness CT at Celtic Park : Match Preview
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McInnes: Players eager for cup win
Derek McInnes believes victory for Aberdeen in the Scottish League Cup final against Inverness on Sunday could give his players a greater thirst for success.
The Dons will be backed by around 40,000 fans at Celtic Park as they look to bring silverware back to Pittodrie for the first time since 1995.
The William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against St Johnstone at Ibrox next month offers the possibility of a memorable cup double this season.
However, while McInnes - who, along with assistant Tony Docherty, signed a two-year contract extension until the summer of 2017 this week - is not looking past Caley, he knows just how important the club's first piece of silverware in 19 years could be to his players.
The former St Johnstone and Bristol City boss, 42, said: "I don't think it is more likely (they will win the Scottish Cup) if we win on Sunday, but I don't think it will do any harm.
"There is nothing better than that taste of success.
"It should be like a drug to players. Winning games should be like that and if there is a prize at the end of it, a trophy, then I don't think it would do us any harm going forward because once they have experienced it, they will want it again as quickly as possible.
"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but if we can win the trophy there will be huge celebration across the board, myself and the players included.
"We realise how many people want this, the numbers coming to watch us will suggest that.
"But the most pleasing thing for me will be how rewarding a win will be for the players, because I see them every day and how much they want it."
McInnes admits things could hardly have gone any better for him and Docherty in their first year in the job.
They officially took charge of the team last April after Craig Brown moved into the boardroom, and the former Rangers and Dundee United midfielder believes those final games in the league campaign allowed him to get his plans in place for this season.
"At this juncture I don't think things could have gone much better to be honest," he said.
"We are delighted with the response we are getting from the players and delighted that the players we signed have connected well with the players who were there when we came in.
"I think it was important that we had that period before the end of last season to make those calls of who was staying and who wasn't.
"When they all came back in the summer, they all knew - even those who weren't my signings - that they were my players, they were there because I wanted them there and so that period was important.
"I am delighted with what we have got up until now, but as I said before, the season still has a bit to go and we still have it all to do."
Terry Butcher has called on the city of Inverness to honour his former Inverness players no matter how well they do in Sunday's League Cup final.
Butcher admits he was hurt by Highland Council's failure to offer his promotion-winning Caley Thistle team a civic reception in 2010.
And he feels the city should support the club more after the clash with Aberdeen.
"I'd like to see the council or the beaks do the club justice," Butcher said. "We never got a civic reception or an open-top bus tour round the city. It would have only taken five minutes right enough.
"But we were never offered that and that really hurt me, because we did really well when we won the First Division title.
"So I hope, whatever the result, that the boys and the club get the recognition it should do from the council and the people round Inverness."
Aberdeen sold out their 40,000 allocation for Celtic Park and were denied an extra batch of tickets by police and safety officials.
Inverness were edging towards selling their initial 7,500 allocation in the lead-up to the final and Butcher admits the city has still not fully embraced the club, which formed from a merger of two Highland League clubs 20 years ago.
"There is a good die-hard hardcore of fans there but it's not a football city," the Hibernian manager said. "It's probably shinty more than anything else and there's probably more fans go and watch Celtic and Rangers than watch Inverness play.
"The club deserves far more than that and I hope that it gets it. I can say these things now because I'm not there anymore.
"Even if I was there I was bitterly disappointed that we never got a reception. Ross County got a reception. We didn't."
Highland Council, whether responding to Butcher's criticism or not, issued a statement on the club's website promising to honour the club with "civic recognition later in the year" whatever the result.
Inverness Provost Alex Graham said: "It would be a very fitting way for the club to mark 20 years...by winning its first major cup. The club have done the city and the Highlands proud in fighting their way to the final and no matter the outcome the council will wish to mark their achievement in a meaningful way."
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