McGinn eyes final destination
Niall McGinn has targeted a William Hill Scottish Cup final appearance at Hampden this season, but knows an in-form Motherwell stand in Aberdeen's way of progressing through Saturday's fourth-round tie at Pittodrie.
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The Northern Ireland international came close to playing at the national stadium with former club Celtic, whom he left for the Dons in the summer, making the squad on a couple of occasions.
Buoyed by eight goals for Aberdeen this season in an unfamiliar centre-forward role, the 25-year-old is looking to take the next step with Craig Brown's side, although he is wary of the in-form Steelmen who have won their last three away games.
"It is a period of transition for us, in a couple of years we want to be challenging for trophies on a regular basis, that is what the fans deserve," McGinn told Press Association Sport.
"But it would be nice to get to Hampden this season, that is a personal goal of mine.
"I was in a few Celtic squads for semi-finals and finals but never got to play there so that would be extra special.
"I played in cup finals with Derry City and my first club Dungannon Swifts reached a cup final, although I was disappointed to be left out for that.
"It was disappointing to go out of the League Cup to St Mirren so we want to go as far as we can in this competition.
"But we can't look past Motherwell. They are doing very well at the moment and come off a couple of great results against Inverness and Dundee United, so they will be on a high.
"Everyone knows the importance of the game. It is going to be a typical cup tie and it would be nice to get the first goal to settle us.
"We were down 3-1 to Motherwell earlier in the season at Pittodrie in the league and had to fight hard to get back to 3-3, so we know how difficult it will be."
After being a bit-part player at Celtic Park, McGinn is thriving on regular football and the added responsibility which comes with a new-found reputation for scoring.
"I'm delighted to be playing week-in, week-out and it is always nice to chip in with a goal," said October's Clydesdale Bank Premier League player of the month.
"I just have to find the consistency now.
"The fans expect me to score so I hope I can keep it going, but even if I don't score I will be working hard to contribute to the team.
"I haven't been renowned for my goalscoring, having played wide for most of my career. So if someone had offered me eight goals at this stage of the season I would have bitten their hand off for it.
"I am delighted but I always had it in me. At all my previous clubs I got into good positions but I have been working hard on my finishing."