Aberdeen knocked Steven Gerrard’s side out of the Betfred Cup at Hampden Park in October and followed that with a Premiership win at Ibrox six weeks later without conceding a single goal.
That latter success started a club record-equalling run of seven straight away wins, but in stark contrast they have become accustomed to being booed off at home, where they have now won only once in seven games.
The chorus of disapproval reached a crescendo in the midweek loss to lowly Hamilton Accies but McInnes knows a win against their bitterest rivals will be transformative on and off the field.
He said:“I understand the fans’ disappointment and frustration. Failing to beat St Mirren and Hamilton at home were missed opportunities but nobody is more disappointed and frustrated than us.
“Sunday demands that competitive side that my team show when they are at their best and there is no doubt the supporters will be right behind the team.
“There is a huge rivalry between both clubs and there is no love lost. The game itself can be difficult to referee.
“The supporters will demand the game is played in a certain way, with plenty of tackles and aggression and huge commitment. All that is important, but there is also a need for calmness, discipline, organisation and real concentration on the job.
“When we have beaten Rangers this season we have had brilliant concentration and very few mistakes have been made.
“We have been very smart with our work as well as being competitive and there will be a balance of all that for us to get a result on Sunday.”
It won’t quite be season over for Aberdeen if they lose tomorrow as they still have a Europa League place to clinch, but McInnes added:“The cup offers the best chance of silverware . We have been to one final by beating good teams, Rangers included, along the way. If we want to get to another final we are going to need to beat another good Rangers team.
“Stevie has put a fantastic squad together but we have shown we are capable of laying a glove on them and getting the result against them.
“It is an opportunity for either side to put one of the key teams out of it and we just want to bring a performance we know we are capable of and one we have shown in the past.”