Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes reckons competitions like the League Cup are the only way of competing with Celtic or Rangers for trophies.

The Dons will play out a League Cup quarter-final tie tonight when they take on Hearts at Tynecastle.

McInnes faces Craig Levein tonight. (Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

McInnes reckons that clashes like Aberdeen’s are so important as it’s the only realistic way silverware can be won.

He told Red TV: “The cups are our best opportunity of success.

“I think when Celtic and Rangers are doing their job in the league and recruiting well – and they’ve obviously got two very good managers in place – with the money they’ve got, it’s difficult for any team to compete with these clubs through the league.

It’s a struggle for trophies. (photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

“So the cups offer us the best chance. We’ve obviously won one cup and been close on other occasions and have always seen the importance of cup football at the club.”

McInnes knows this has always been the case

This is nothing new for Scottish football. Celtic and Rangers are always the dominant forces in the league whilst everyone else battles for silverware on the cup front.

It’s why teams like Aberdeen have so much at stake when they play in the League Cup. For a big team trophies are expected regularly, but that isn’t really realistic in Scotland for sides outwith the Glasgow pair.

McInnes must know trophies are a rarity with Celtic and Rangers growing in strength. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

In his first season as Dons boss McInnes lead Aberdeen to League Cup glory. He hasn’t hit those heights since, although the club have been to Hampden plenty of times.

Their Tynecastle clash is a big match. For Aberdeen to rival Celtic or Rangers once more for a trophy, he has to make sure his side manage to beat Hearts in Gorgie.

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