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'Every club wants to win this trophy'

Russell Anderson's deference towards Livingston was admirable as he discussed the outcome of the League Cup draw at Pittodrie, but he would have been secretly pleased that Aberdeen had avoided a bigger-name opponent as he highlighted the benefits of being a seeded team.

IT'S OURS TO LOSE: Aberdeen captain Russell Anderson. Picture: SNS/Bill Murray
IT'S OURS TO LOSE: Aberdeen captain Russell Anderson. Picture: SNS/Bill Murray

Anderson watched from the wings in the Sir Alex Ferguson Lounge at Pittodrie as club legend Joe Harper drew the third-round pairings, which included a Dundee derby at Tannadice and a tantalising tie between Celtic and Hearts. "I don't think the draw could have been any better," said Anderson. "We've got a home tie, which you always hope you will get, and it also helps being seeded. It goes to show the benefits of doing well in the competition the season before.

"We are delighted with the home game but we are not going to be complacent because we only have to remember back to last season's run, when Alloa took us to penalties. We fortunately got through that night and we know we can't take anything for granted in this tie."

Nursing a knee injury that will render him unavailable for the Premiership visit of Partick Thistle on Saturday, the 25-year-old defender hailed last season's cup final triumph over Inverness Caley Thistle as the high point of his career and a special moment for his club.

"It was a defining moment for us last season, whether or not you call penalties luck," he said of the outcome of the shoot-out that decided the trophy. "But I do remember all the kicks and they were all taken with a severe degree of conviction from every player."

Aberdeen may have experienced an inauspicious start to their league campaign following Europa League qualifiers against Groningen and Real Sociedad, but he refused to portray the League Cup clash with Livingston as an opportunity to claim fresh momentum. "You never know what will happen," he said. "You need to play well in the games and you need a bit of luck but we want to progress in the competition as far as we can and we definitely want to retain the trophy."

Anderson put up a spirited defence against those who say the League Cup has been downgraded in recent years and insisted that every club in the country would covet the trophy.

He said: "There are certain people who will say the competition isn't seen in such a good light as previously but every season, every team who enters will tell you they want to do as well as they can, from the Premiership teams to the lower-league teams.

"It is no different for us. It is silverware and we have an opportunity to win two cups and we will certainly be looking at it as a tournament we want to do well in. As for our current form, you can't blame being involved in the Europa League qualifiers for our poor start. Europe set us up nicely for the domestic campaign. You can't say it has been detrimental."

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