sport

Anderson cautious over revival

Aberdeen captain Russell Anderson warned against getting carried away after leading the Dons to their first cup final for 14 years.

A 4-0 victory over St Johnstone at Tynecastle secured a League Cup final place against Inverness and continued an excellent first year in the reign of Derek McInnes.

The Dons were both resilient and clinical against St Johnstone, taking the lead in the third minute when Jonny Hayes converted Adam Rooney's cross and withstanding some intense pressure before Peter Pawlett burst through to score on a 32nd-minute counter-attack.

Pawlett set up Rooney on another break just after the hour to kill off the Saints comeback and Hayes struck a brilliant fourth.

Aberdeen look destined for their first top-six league place in five seasons with a European push to come and they have a William Hill Scottish Cup clash at Celtic Park to look forward to on Saturday.

But Anderson is too experienced to let the excitement get the better of him at this stage. Anderson, who played in both of the finals Aberdeen reached in the 1999-2000 season, losing to either side of the Old Firm, said: "We are only six months in, so it's a bit premature. Come the end of this season or two or three seasons down the line then you will know if it was the start of something.

"But we haven't done anything yet. The season hasn't finished yet. We have given ourselves a good chance in the league and a good chance to win the League Cup.

"And now we have to give ourselves as good a chance as possible to progress in the Scottish Cup."

The 35-year-old vowed to put cup final fever to one side before the March 16 clash with Caley Thistle.

"We will definitely keep a lid on it," the former Sunderland and Derby defender said.

"The manager was specific this week in trying to keep a lid on the preparations going into this game and it worked really well.

"There were no distractions in the changing room, we just prepared properly for it like we do any other game, and the outcome favoured us.

"In the lead-up to it, I'm sure everybody else will get excited, which is their right. They haven't had a chance to get excited about much over recent years.

"But we will be as professional as we can and will view it as another game that hopefully we can win."

Anderson feels the mindset that McInnes has helped instil will help them keep their feet on the ground.

"I think there is a good mentality," Anderson said.

"There have been countless occasions this season when we have been up against it or have scored late goals to win games or draw games.

"I think that feeds off itself, the players get confidence from that and it showed on a lot of occasions this season that we will keep going."