DEREK McInnes highlights diligence and determination as factors which will be crucial if his Aberdeen team are to fulfil his most immediate ambition, to lift the William Hill Scottish Cup.

The Dons manager has effected a remarkable transformation since his arrival at Pittodrie five years ago with an early League Cup win as well as three successive second-place finishes in the top tier of Scottish football.

But he recognises that, as well as his players there are others who deserve plaudits, none more so than club chairman Stewart Milne, with whom he has a strong bond.

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Milne made a series of disastrous managerial appointments over the years but got it right when he invited Craig Brown to bring stability to the club after which McInnes was offered the opportunity to make them winners, though the league championship is outwith his reach given the spending power of Celtic.

Motherwell stand in the way of an Aberdeen side which will be without suspended Shay Logan, Kenny Mclean and captain Graeme Shinnie, from a second Scottish Cup final in a row.

McInnes insisted that the defeat to the Fir Park outfit in the League Cup earlier in the season will not even be mentioned in the pre-match team talk at Hampden tomorrow.

“We’ve played them three times since then,” he said, “and the most recent game [a 2-0 win 10 days ago] is the one I’d make most reference to.

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“There’s no doubt in the cup you’re in or out it. In the league, it’s still in our own hands to finish second. The importance of the players to grasp the chance to get to a final is big.”

McInnes is unconcerned about the potential physicality of the tie, pointing to members of his squad who are capable of holding their own on that side of football. He added: “We’ve got players who can stand up to that. They showed that when we won at Fir Park 10 days ago. Scott McKenna has been a big part for us. They have big players. We must be wide awake and show aggression.”