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Dons to show Rangers no pity at Pittodrie

Published: Thursday 22 January 2009, 17.30CET
Having beaten Celtic FC on Sunday, Aberdeen FC hope to complete an Old Firm double by beating Rangers FC this weekend and manager Jimmy Calderwood believes it could be the springboard to a European return.
by Alex O'Henley
from Glasgow
Dons to show Rangers no pity at Pittodrie
Jimmy Calderwood is enjoying Aberdeen's resurgence ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 22 January 2009, 17.30CET

Dons to show Rangers no pity at Pittodrie

Having beaten Celtic FC on Sunday, Aberdeen FC hope to complete an Old Firm double by beating Rangers FC this weekend and manager Jimmy Calderwood believes it could be the springboard to a European return.

Aberdeen FC are targeting a rare double this weekend when they welcome Rangers FC to Pittodrie on Saturday.

Celtic beaten
Last Sunday, for the first time in eight years, the Dons beat Celtic FC at their northern home, defeating the reigning champions 4-2. Now Jimmy Calderwood's side are aiming for a second consecutive victory over Glasgow's Old Firm, something they have not achieved since Sir Alex Ferguson's trophy-laden time in charge of Aberdeen in the 1980s.

Confidence high
"Not since the days of the great man from Govan has an Aberdeen manager won back-to-back games against the Old Firm here and I'd like to add that to my CV," said Calderwood. "I am not going to say we will do the Old Firm double, but what I will say is that our confidence has taken a massive boost and the team is playing well. We have the quality to win but so do Rangers. Walter [Smith] will have been alerted by our performance against Celtic and he'll know how difficult it will be to get a result here."

European target
The defeat of Celtic moved Aberdeen up to third place in the Scottish Premier League, completing a remarkable turnaround for a side who lost their first five games at home this season. Sunday's result marked their sixth consecutive league victory at Pittodrie, something they had not achieved since 2001, and Calderwood is now setting his sights on a third place finish and a Scottish Cup success which would guarantee the Dons UEFA Europa League football next season, having reached the 2007/08 UEFA Cup Round of 32.

Objectives
"There are still plenty of objectives I want to fulfil here," said the 53-year-old, who had been linked with the vacant FC Utrecht post having previously spent much of his career in the Netherlands, playing for Sparta Rotterdam, Willem II, Roda JC and Heracles Almelo, and coaching Willem II and NEC Nijmegen. "It was special to get my first victory against Celtic at Pittodrie and now I want to take that on by beating Rangers then finishing third to book another great European adventure.

Trophy hope
"We had a great time in the UEFA Cup last season and it would be fantastic to be part of that again," he added. "If you want European football and we are desperate to experience it again, you must win games. Draws are no good to us and we will be going flat out for victory in every game between now and the end of the season. There's also the fact that Aberdeen haven't won a trophy in 14 years and it would be special to end that by lifting the Scottish Cup in May."

Last updated: 22/01/09 20.19CET

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