Stevie May is hoping Aberdeen can capitalise on Rangers’ state of fragility twice in the next five days to pull a massive 12 points clear of their Ibrox rivals before the halfway stage of the Premiership.
Rangers are seemingly rudderless as the frustrated supporters, who have witnessed consecutive defeats by Dundee and Hamilton under interim boss Graeme Murty, desperately wait for news of a permanent replacement for Pedro Caixinha.
The Dons go to Ibrox tomorrow enlivened by an excellent performance in their 3-1 victory at Rugby Park, in which May made a timely return to the goal trail, and then they host the beleaguered Govan side at Pittodrie on Sunday.
May knows it is a real opportunity to put some considerable distance between the two sides as they continue their pursuit of Celtic, who currently hold a three-point lead having played one game fewer than Aberdeen.
Having won at Ibrox for the first time in 26 years back in May, the Dons will be eager to add to the pain.
May said: “I’m sure we will look at them and identify areas we can punish them and get into them.
“We were really disappointed after the defeat by Motherwell last week, but teams around us have also dropped points over the past couple of weeks. It was important to bounce back with a good performance and a victory to really set the tone going into the next couple of games.
“In all honesty, I wasn’t aware that the last game there [Ibrox] was Aberdeen’s first win in 26 years – I wasn’t even born back then!
“But there is certainly no reason why we can’t get a positive result again. We will go there looking for the three points. The manager will want us to impose ourselves on the game, so we will be raring to go come Wednesday night”
Personally, the 24-year-old is thrilled to end his scoring drought which had stretched back to 16 September when, coincidentally, he scored in a 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock.
He might have had a hat-trick last Sunday as Aberdeen’s second goal came from his header, eventually deflecting off Stephen O’Donnell, he had a goal disallowed for offside and netted the clincher.
He said: “The gaffer [Derek McInnes] was saying beforehand not to think too much about it or let the pressure get to me. So I just wanted to go out and do my stuff. It’s all about playing well and winning games. If you’re doing that, then the goals will always come.
“The games are coming thick and fast for us and it’s obviously a huge week for us now with two games against Rangers.
“The manager was saying that I might actually have had a hat-trick because it was my header for our second goal and, also, the one I had ruled out wasn’t offside.
“But the most important thing was just the performance of the team and to get the three points. After coming close a couple of times, I was just glad to finally put one away and give us a wee bit more breathing space.”
While there is uncertainty at Ibrox, all seems to be stable at Pittodrie on the back of the unanimity between Derek McInnes and chairman Stewart Milne that the manager is there for the long haul.
However, May says the constant Rangers speculation was never a distraction.
He said: “I don’t think any of the boys really take any notice of it. Throughout your career, you’re always going to have speculation surrounding players and managers so you just have to get on with it and deal with it.