Mitch Megginson was a bit like the sparring partner following a bruising session with the contender.

"Yeah, he's fit, focused and ready; he'll win the big fight."

After Adam Rooney's second-half header took Aberdeen into the semi-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup that, in essence, is what the Dumbarton attacker felt as he assessed the chances of his former Pittodrie team-mates lifting the trophy and of beating Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the League Cup final at Celtic Park on Sunday when he will be ringside.

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The 21-year-old, released by Aberdeen at the end of last season, collected his cup final tickets before his side's plucky display which would have resulted in a replay had Paul McGinn's last-minute header not taken a wicked bounce before beating goalkeeper Jamie Langfield and landing on the roof of his net.

"It was unlucky for McGinn," he said. "A right-back is probably the last person you would want that chance to fall to but he showed great desire to make that run and get into that position. It was unlucky it went over."

Megginson will be among the 40,000 Aberdeen fans who will cheer on their side at Parkhead on Sunday and, having been reminded at close quarters of their capabilities, he has no doubt they will they secure their first trophy for 19 years, and then lift the Scottish Cup in May.

"They are looking fit and sharp," he continued. "Derek McInnes has added a few experienced players and Adam Rooney has been banging in the goals since he arrived. They are looking good and I expect them to be in the race to finish second [in the SPFL Premiership] for the next few seasons. They are the favourites for both trophies and I don't see why they can't do that providing they stay injury free. Verny [Scott Vernon, the Aberdeen striker] gave me my tickets before Saturday's game and hopefully I will see them lift the cup."

There is no such prediction from anyone inside Pittodrie where, Stasi-like, similar pronouncements are more than frowned upon, they are forbidden. Tempting fate is not Aberdeen manager McInnes's way.

Moreover, gone is the nervousness against lower-league opposition that haunted a series of Aberdeen managers and their oft-beleaguered teams in cup competition; Queen of the South, Queen's Park, Raith Rovers and East Fife spring to mind.

Yet there were times during the quarter-final against Dumbarton that the home fans might have wondered if and when the impressive passing play from their team would produce a goal, and why the SPFL Championship side were afforded so much of the ball during a spell immediately after the break before Ryan Jack and Willo Flood once more assumed control of the midfield.

The disappearance of such edginess comes with winning games, according to Russell Anderson, the Aberdeen captain.

"You go back to the start of the season when we managed to beat Alloa Athletic on penalties and it shows the fine line there is between winning and losing," he said. "That game was the first step for us to reach the League Cup final and it showed you are not guaranteed to win any games. The manager made us aware of how well Dumbarton have been doing. They've lost one game in nine and are a high-scoring team in their league. People would have thought that, on paper, it would have been a lot easier to beat Dumbarton than it was beating Celtic at Parkhead, but each game throws up its own problems that you have to figure out."