Derek McInnes hopes Aberdeen put their best foot forward when Rangers visit Pittodrie on Sunday.
The Dons lost 1-0 at home to the Premiership leaders on the opening day of the season when the Aberdeen boss started with youngster Bruce Anderson in place of injured strikers Sam Cosgrove and Curtis Main.
McInnes was without eight players due to injury and Covid-19 issues when his side lost 4-0 at Ibrox in November.
Aberdeen now face a Gers side who have won 20 and drawn two league games this season and who are 19 points ahead of Celtic at the top of the table having played three games more, and McInnes is looking for his side to provide a tough examination.
He said: “It is always a big game when you play Rangers
“From our point of view, the last two outings against them we fell way short of what I expect.
“I think it has been a good time for Rangers to play us, I think it has been a good time for a few teams in certain periods this season to take us on.
“We have probably been a bit vulnerable in terms of team selection and players being available.
“But certainly going into this game with one league defeat in 14 – the game at Ibrox – while we are not perfect, we are in decent form.
“We have some good players, more players available and it is important that Rangers get a far tougher game than they had in the last couple of games.”
McInnes admits Scott Wright looks set to leave the Dons with contract talks coming to a standstill.
The 23-year-old is out of contract at Pittodrie this summer and the manager believes the winger is looking at having a go in English football.
McInnes said: “We have been trying to get Scott to re-sign because he is a key player. It has not been easy to do and we are no further forward.
“Scott and his agent have indicated that they want to keep their options open and maybe look at options down south.
“That is a player’s right but by the same token we are disappointed with it.
“The door is not closed but the likely destination for Scott looks to be down south.”
Whether Wright signs back on again or not, McInnes stressed that “nobody will be signing in January, nobody”.
He said: “We run as we are. We have a squad who obviously have got to third in the league at the halfway stage and we want to try and improve on that in the second half of the season.
“There is no manager out there who won’t want to make one or two adjustments to the squad but we are not in a position to be able to do that and we go as we are.
“No players will be here in January. If anybody would move on it would maybe change things but as it stands we don’t plan on selling anyone in January and we stay as we are.”
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