JIM GOODWIN has warned his Aberdeen players not to take Partick Thistle lightly as the Dons bid to reach Hampden once more, saying that Firhill manager Ian McCall will bring his team to Pittodrie to attack.

Goodwin has gone into cup ties as an underdog and as a heavy favourite – as his Aberdeen team will be this evening against their Championship opponents – and he knows that ties such as these can be fraught with danger for the Premiership side.

That being said, he has also challenged his team to rise to the expectation that come with playing for the club by ensuring they reach the semi-final stage of the League Cup.

“I have been there myself when I was manager of Alloa,” Goodwin said.

“You go to some big teams and there is absolutely no pressure whatsoever. It is almost a free hit but I know Ian McCall well enough because I have managed against him on numerous occasions, and he always set his teams up to be offensive minded.

“He gave us a bit of a scare when I was manager of St Mirren in this competition. I would expect more of the same.

“They are a good footballing team who try and build from the back and they have some good technical players in their team as well.

“They have a lot of ex-Premier League players and I have tried to explain that to some of the players in our squad; it is a team who are used to playing in big games.

“We certainly won’t be under-estimating them but if we can reach the levels I know we are capable of then I think we will give ourselves a good chance of progressing.
“It is the quarter-final of the League Cup. It is a huge game for the group and for the fans as well and the biggest incentive of all is to get a day out at Hampden for the semi-final.

“It is a game that people will no doubt expect us to win because we are the Premier League team but we certainly haven’t underestimated Partick Thistle.

“They are doing very well and are top of the Championship and they are coming up to Aberdeen with nothing to lose and nothing to fear.”

The appreciation between Goodwin and McCall is mutual, with the Firhill manager calling his Pittodrie counterpart a ‘bright young dude’ in his own pre-match press conference. When asked what he would call McCall in response, Goodwin said: "A bright old dude!

“Ian is a top manager, I'm not into blowing smoke up the opposition manager's a**e too much but Ian's a really good guy and a Premiership manager.

“He's been a little bit unfortunate in terms of circumstances but as manager he tests you and makes you have to think on the sidelines.

“He's right up there and I loved his approach when he was at Ayr United and I was managing Alloa. Very offensive, attack-minded and on the front-foot.

“He always has a team full of technically good footballers regardless of what level he's playing at and you see that in this Partick team.
"They score lots of goals and he deserves all of the plaudits which come his way but I hope he's disappointed after this game.”