Aberdeen need 'bigger performance' against Rangers in semi-final - Derek McInnes

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes with the Scottish League Cup
Derek McInnes is aiming for a fourth cup final as Aberdeen manager
Scottish League Cup semi-final: Aberdeen v Rangers
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Sunday, 28 October Kick-off: 16:30 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Scotland and online

Derek McInnes says his Aberdeen team must put in a "bigger performance" than so far this season to beat Rangers in their Scottish League Cup semi-final.

The Pittodrie manager has a near full squad available for the tie at Hampden on Sunday for the first time this term.

And he expects a strong mentality from his players after a slow start has left them seventh in the Premiership.

"We are well past the stage of just being pleased to turn up at these types of games," McInnes said.

"It's clear we're going to need a bigger performance in us to beat this Rangers team, but I believe there's a big performance in us and we will get better."

Steven Gerrard's side are only two places above Aberdeen in the table, but have taken five more points, and McInnes said he "can understand Rangers being favourites".

However, he shrugged off the suggestion that hosting Spartak Moscow in the Europa League on Thursday will hamper the Ibrox side.

"With the depth of their squad, they have shown that they can cope with playing in Europe followed by a weekend game the majority of time," McInnes said.

"Physically, we can maybe have an advantage in terms of our preparation through the week, but sometimes too much can be made of that.

"Rangers have always had big squads in the last few seasons, but I think they've got a better squad now. There is a huge improvement in quality."

Although Aberdeen could not sell their full initial ticket allocation, McInnes still expects the club's "fiercely loyal" fans to create "a fantastic atmosphere" at Hampden.

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