Rangers “shouldn’t flatter themselves” by thinking Aberdeen only raise their game against the Old Firm, says Dons manager Derek McInnes.

Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard said on Friday he believes Aberdeen “try harder” against his side, who they face in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday.

Aberdeen have lost just one of six matches against Rangers this season, winning all three meetings in Glasgow.

“They definitely lift their game against Rangers,” Gerrard said.

Second-place Rangers are eight points clear of Aberdeen, who sit third, heading into the Ibrox encounter. McInnes’ team knocked Rangers out of both cup competitions this season.

The nine-man Pittodrie side were beaten 3-0 in the Scottish Cup semi-finals by Celtic but have won their last three league matches.

“They’re very physical,” Gerrard said. “Do they try harder against Rangers? That’s the way it looks on the eye. We watched them against Celtic and they never laid a finger on Celtic in the semi-final.

“They obviously come to play against Rangers and bring their A game. I’m not saying they don’t raise their game against Celtic, but they have found their form definitely against Rangers.

“And having watched them against Celtic a few weeks ago it wasn’t the performance you expect from Aberdeen if you look at their performances against Rangers.”

When asked about those comments, McInnes, who has led the club to a second-place finish in the past four seasons, said: “We raise our game every game.

“We don’t always get the results, our home form could have been better this season, especially the second half, but our away form has been second to none.

“We have had six years of solid work and we have raised our game time and again against every opponent. Naturally it is a big game against Rangers, our players will enjoy it.”