Denying Celtic a treble is only a secondary motivation for Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney and his team-mates ahead of Saturday’s Scottish Cup final.
The primary cause is to avoid an unwanted treble of their own by finishing another impressive season under Derek McInnes as merely runners-up in all three domestic competitions.
Rooney knows ending the campaign with a sixth straight defeat against Celtic would take the gloss off the achievement of reaching two cup finals and securing a club-record points haul in their second-place league finish.
For all the improvements since McInnes replaced Craig Brown four years ago Aberdeen still have just one trophy to show for it, the League Cup win against Inverness Caledonian Thistle when Rooney scored the decisive penalty in the shootout.
“You want to win things. It is okay finishing second, having a good season and setting records but the ones you remember are the ones where you pick up silverware at the end of the season,” said Rooney. “We want to win for ourselves and not to spoil somebody else’s party.”
“We would love to top off this season with a trophy,” added the Irishman. “There are enough lads here who played in the League Cup final [against Inverness]. We remember what the celebrations are like and we all want that again.”
Rooney didn’t start the most recent clash against Celtic, as McInnes preferred the aerial and physical power of Jayden Stockley up front.
Celtic seemed rattled for the last 79 minutes of the match at Pittodrie despite having raced into a three-goal lead in the first 11 on the way to seeing out a 3-1 win.
Rooney did join the action late on but what he observed from the dugout and during his subsequent involvement certainly increased his confidence for the Cup final.
“Definitely our last performance shows we can get at Celtic. It also shows we can cause them a lot of problems because we put a lot of balls into their box.
“But they also showed what they are capable of. We have to make sure we don’t give Celtic a three-goal lead because I don’t think anyone can do that.”
If Aberdeen do win on Saturday, it will be Graeme Shinnie and not his predecessor as captain, Ryan Jack, who lifts the trophy.
Injury denied Willie Miller the honour back in 1990 but the man who lifted 12 top trophies during his days as skipper believes McInnes has pulled off a “managerial masterstroke” handing Shinnie the job.
Jack’s is fit but his imminent move to Rangers couldn’t have come at a more sensitive time given the history between the clubs and Miller believes the Aberdeen manager deserves credit for taking strong action.
“It will allow them to forget all the speculation surrounding Jack’s future and fully focus on the job in hand at Hampden,” said Miller.