Leven urges Aberdeen to seize 'great opportunity'

Aberdeen caretaker manager Peter Leven insists his side can rise to the "huge" challenge of facing Celtic and book their place in a second cup final this season.

The Dons were League Cup runners-up to Rangers in December and are now eyeing progress against Scottish Cup holders Celtic in Saturday's semi-final.

"It is huge, but we are Aberdeen, we want to be competing in the latter stages of competitions," said Leven.

"Two cup finals this year would be amazing but you are playing a team on form just now so it is going to be difficult.

"I've said to the the players this is a great opportunity and one that we are hopefully going to take.

"We are on a bit of form as well, we have only conceded two goals in five games. The last time (we played Celtic) was at home and it was 1-1 and in the second half we really had a good go at them, so we need to have that belief and trust what we are trying to do and get the result."

Aberdeen will have to do without suspended skipper Graeme Shinnie at Hampden.

"It is a big blow losing your captain, but Shinnie will still be there, he will be round about the boys in the changing room," added Leven.