DEREK MCINNES hopes Aberdeen can go all the way in the Scottish Cup this season after booking their place in the semi-finals with victory over Rangers.

The Dons won at Ibrox for the second time this term thanks to goals in either half from Niall McGinn and Connor McLennan.

Now McInnes’ side will return to Glasgow next month as they face Celtic in the last four and look to avenge their Betfred Cup final defeat from earlier in the campaign.

This was a night to remember for Aberdeen and the victory was more than deserved as McInnes now looks to take his team to Hampden glory after a third win in Glasgow this term.

“It’s significant for us only in that we’re in a semi-final again and we want to go and win the tournament that goes without saying,” McInnes said. “We’re going to have to do it the hard way.

“When the draw was made and then after the draw at Pittodrie, and it came out that it would be Celtic, winning the trophy would seem a million miles away for most people but we’ve overcome a big hurdle tonight and we’re going to have to overcome another hurdle in the semi-final against a god Celtic team.

“I’m disappointed like last season that we’re missing (Graeme) Shinnie for the semi-final. Last year we were without I think four players with suspension and injuries and it had an impact on us.”

Having overcome one half of the Old Firm at the quarter-final stage, Aberdeen will now face familiar foes at Hampden next month as they go head-to-head with Celtic once again.

The champions elect will be guided by Neil Lennon on this occasion as the Northern Irishman looks to finish what Brendan Rodgers started and steer Celtic to an unprecedented treble Treble.

“It’s not going to be an easy game at all,” McInnes said. “We’re just glad to be there – everyone was expecting an Old Firm semi-final, so sorry to disappoint everyone who tipped that.

“We’ve got closer to them in the big games. We’re used to Hampden now. We’ve had a couple of real disappointments there but we’ve had some good performances in semi-finals. The fact we’re going back there for the third time this season – I feel my players are used to the surroundings, regardless of the opponent. Celtic will be firm favourites but I’m just glad we’ve got the opportunity to get the club into another final.”

Aberdeen were given little hope outside of their own camp as many tipped Steven Gerrard’s side to see off the Dons at the second attempt and set up a clash with Celtic.

But McGinn capitalised on an early error from Glen Kamara to fire the visitors ahead, before McLennan completed a memorable victory with a clinical finish that rounded off a superb overall showing from the visitors.

“At half-time we sat them down and I said it was important that you show me you have learned and we start the game well again,” McInnes said. “We didn’t want to play last-minute football for 45 minutes we still wanted to counter-attack and it was difficult, the conditions were difficult, Rangers dominating the ball, players out on their feet, working hard. But a lovely little interchange between Stevie May and Connor McLennan.

“I’ve maybe had better teams with arguably better players over my years here but I’ve never had the resilience and strength of character that these young boys are showing at the minute. The age of our team, I think it was an average of just under 24 on Saturday and maybe even younger tonight, it gives me every encouragement and pleasure to see young players deal with that type of game.”