TONY DOCHERTY insists the fear factor when Aberdeen travel to Glasgow is a thing of the past.

The Dons assistant manager is adamant their success at Celtic Park on the final day of last season bolstered their belief, securing a second-place finish in the Premiership with a 1-0 victory. It was their maiden win at Parkhead since 2014.

Aberdeen have gone from strength to strength in their visits to Scotland largest city, with their memorable 2-0 win over Rangers in midweek booking a Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic and representing their THIRD triumph over Steven Gerrard’s men in Glasgow this term.

That came just three days after they claimed a creditable 0-0 draw against the Hoops, illustrating that the days of Aberdeen travelling to the east end on a hiding to nothing are long gone.


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Docherty said: “Going back to last season, we had to go to Celtic Park on the final day knowing we had to win to finish second. There were a lot of doubters out there in terms of our big game mentality.

“The whole season had been about whether it would be ourselves, Rangers or Hibs finishing as runners-up and we kept quiet and just did our work.

“We knew it would go down to that final game and we answered the questions. We played exceptionally well and it does get a monkey off the back a little bit. We’ve conquered that. We came through that, finished second and have carried that on this year.

“We’ve only lost the one game out of six against Rangers this season and we actually enjoy going down to play in Glasgow now. Any successful Aberdeen team needs that mentality. You need to go down there expecting to win these games and I think, especially in the last couple of games, we have shown that mentality in the squad. We are only half-way there.

“We have a big semi-final against Celtic coming up and we need to retain our resilience and strength of character.”

Docherty, meanwhile, has called on the Scottish FA to review their suspension protocols in the Scottish Cup. Skipper Graeme Shinnie will miss the mouth-watering Hampden showdown with Celtic after picking up his second caution of the tournament against Rangers.


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Docherty reckons it beggars belief that the rules do not factor the possibility of replays into their rules, insisting the fact Shinnie has played five matches in the cup makes it far more likely he would rack up a ban.

He added: “If teams come in during the earlier rounds, they are allowed three bookings before a suspension.

“Well, we’ve effectively played five games in the competition because we’ve had two replays. Graeme Shinnie has picked up two bookings, and he is suspended.

“I really think it is something the SFA need to look at, in terms of the amount of games players have if ties go to replays and how that relates to suspensions.

“It’s a gripe and of course we will miss Graeme Shinnie, he is an integral part of the squad. But we’ve done it before and we have other players in the squad and we’ll go into the game confident we can get a result.”

There has been scarce time to luxuriate in their cup exploits for Aberdeen, with the focus now shifting the arresting their recent malaise at home. The Dons have been uncharacteristically poor in the Granite City in 2019, winning just one of their seven matches at Pittodrie to date and allowing the likes of Stenhousemuir, Hamilton and St Mirren to escape without defeat.

Docherty, while not alarmed by the record, is desperate to halt that run when Livingston visit tomorrow.

He continued: “We’ve never really had a run of games where we haven’t been winning at home during myself and Derek [McInnes’] time here. We are normally very strong at Pittodrie.

“It is nothing we are overly concerned about, but Saturday is a chance to redress that and make sure we get back on track. We have maybe not been as clinical in the final third - hitting the bar, hitting the post - but we will endeavour to put that right.”