Ryan Jack hopes Celtic enjoyed their title celebrations at Tynecastle last weekend because the Aberdeen captain is determined to make it more like a wake for them at Parkhead tomorrow.
The midfielder played in the 9-0 defeat at the venue when Mark McGhee was manager six years ago, the worst result in their entire 113-year history.
Now the current side go there needing to win by an 18-goal margin to stand any chance of actually denying Ronny Deila the leaving gift of a Premiership crown.
It’s clearly a ridiculous prospect but Jack would settle for a first win after 21 straight league defeats at Celtic Park to at least delay confirmation of their success for another few days.
Aberdeen have already accounted for two of their opponents’ three losses in the league this season, a marked improvement on a year ago when they lost all four head-to head meetings.
Jack believes that demands respect but is motivated to improve on that as he said: “You see the pictures of them celebrating in front of their fans because they were presuming it was over.
“We didn’t see the TV pictures of their after-match celebrations but through the week you see the pictures in the newspapers and hear people telling you how they celebrated.
“There was nothing we could do about that – it was out of our hands. All we can do is stay focused but it is in our hands on Sunday and we can do something about it this time. There’s all this hype with the prospect of the league being decided on Sunday. But we’re going into the game on the back of a good result and week’s training so there’s nothing for us to be afraid of. We want to go into the game and ignore all the talk of a title party and if you beat any team in the league three times in a season it would be a good achievement.
“I don’t think there is such a big gulf between the sides but in certain games when we’ve had the chance to maybe get ourselves ahead we never managed to take it.
“There are always changes in the summer – players will come and go – and hopefully the new recruits make us stronger and give us a good push for next season.” Top scorer Adam Rooney’s thoughts are already focused on next season as a recurrence of his thigh muscle tear means that he won’t play again in this one.
His ten-week absence was a blow to Aberdeen’s title hopes but it has also ended the striker’s hopes of making the Republic of Ireland squad for next month’s European Championship.
Peter Pawlett is also missing for the last three games while Simon Church and Cammy Smith are doubts for tomorrow’s match.