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Hibs will be tough but we are in good form, says McInnes

Aberdeen are determined to reach their second cup final of the season.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has paid tribute to Hibernian ahead of the Scottish Cup semi-final between the sides but said his team are ready to reach their second Hampden final of the season.

The Dons were League Cup finalists and are now focused on making the most of their last chance at silverware this season.

Hibernian go into the game having secured the Championship title and McInnes said it would make them formidable opponents.

"Similar to Celtic, I think expected them to win the league and it looked that way for the past couple of months," he said.

"There were one or two others but without being too disrespectful I think Hibs have always looked quite strong and never really had a wobble so when they won it was immaterial.

"I think they deserve a lot of credit and they've dealt with that situation well and I congratulate them on it. They'll be a welcome addition to the Premiership next year."

He added: "Whether they'll be any more dangerous, I wouldn't say so but I think they'll be playing with a lot of confidence and they have a lot of good players.

"I think we'd probably view them like a top six side. You look at them and the experienced players they've got and the other thing is that they've been used to winning in their own league.

"They're facing my team which is also playing well at the minute. We're really pleased with our form as a team and individually.

"We're the second best team in the country, as it stands, and we feel they've got a real tough challenge on their hands as well."

'Ever since we've been here we've always put across to the players the importance of winning silverware and to be confident enough to put ourselves forward to say that.'
Derek McInnes

Losing to Celtic in the League Cup final was a disappointment for McInnes and his players and he said they would use that loss to spur them on this weekend.

He said it was part of a wealth of experience the players have picked up in the last few years and that was a valuable asset to take into the game.

"I think you can use any disappointment [to spur you on]," he said.

"It's all about getting as much experience as possible to deal with occasions.

"I think we've had a lot of big game experience in recent years. The European stage has helped us in that sense as well."

He added: "We've been the team that's been asked to compete with Celtic over the past few seasons to have some sort of title race and we've always managed to try to sustain that for as long as we could.

"This season is another test for us as a club, through our league form, and the onus to at least be second and better than everyone else."

McInnes has enjoyed success at Pittodrie in his time in charge, notably winning the League Cup in 2014, and he said knockout competitions represented a good chance at lifting a trophy, one he hoped to grab with both hands.

"It's the same opportunity for all four teams in the semi-finals," he said.

"We've come this far and we obviously want to go and try and win it, to try to get ourselves in the final to go and do that.

"We've beaten some good teams along the way, like away at Ross County and a tough match against Partick Thistle.

"There's another tough one waiting for us but you don't get to finals without having to overcome tough challenges."

He continued: "We're looking forward to it because you'd rather be involved than be on the outside looking in. It's a great chance for us.

"Ever since we've been here we've always put across to the players the importance of winning silverware and to be confident enough to put ourselves forward to say that.

"If I didn't believe in the team and I didn't think we could win it I wouldn't be saying it. I would be saying we'd look to compete and do as best as we can."

McInnes added: "For me, when you start the season the two cup competitions give you real opportunities to win silverware.

"The last one didn't go the way we wanted, though we did well to get to the final. Now we want to get to the final and hopefully have a different outcome.

"This'll be our fifth semi-final since we came to Aberdeen. We've won two and lost two so a total contrast of how you feel afterwards and it's all about getting through."

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