Defender Andy Considine today vowed to continue to silence Aberdeen’s critics by knocking Apollon Limassol out of Europe.
The Dons will tomorrow face the Cypriot side in the Europa League third qualifying round first leg at Pittodrie.
Considine reckons many people wrote off the Reds after drawing 1-1 at home to Bosnians NK Siroki Brijeg in the previous round.
He said: “I imagine we had a few doubters after drawing at Pittodrie against the Bosnians.
“A lot of people were probably thinking ‘oh no, here they go’.
“But we proved those people wrong and we can play in the third round with our heads held high.”
Dons boss Derek McInnes has targeted the lucrative group stages this season. Should Aberdeen progress past Apollon Limassol they will still have to negotiate the play-offs before the groups.
Teams knocked out of the Champions League qualifying round stage will drop down into the play-off round for the Europa League.
Defender Considine said: “We have every chance of getting to the group stages.
“Over the summer we have recruited extremely well.
“We have lost some very good players but have brought in very strong new signings.
“Last season I felt we had an incredible squad and enjoyed a tremendous season.
“The boys the gaffer has recruited have certainly matched the expectations of what was asked for
“As the days go by we are gelling more and more and that showed in Bosnia.
“It just shows you how much we have come on from the home game when we drew 1-1 with Siroki Brijeg.”
Aberdeen had to endure temperatures of around 90F in Bosnia despite the 8.45pm kick-off.
They can expect the mercury to rise even higher in Cyprus.
Apollon Limassol will provide tough opposition having reached the group stages of the Europa League in two of the last four seasons.
Dons gaffer McInnes had both legs of their 5-1 aggregate win over FC Zaria Balti of Moldova watched.
Considine said: “It’s going to be even hotter and tougher in Cyprus than it was in Bosnia so we expect a tough tie.
“But we have been to some really tough places in Europe and achieved results so there is no reason why we can’t do so again.
“In Bosnia, it was a very similar performance to two seasons ago in Rijeka.
“It was a tough first 10 minutes when Siroki were right on top and we couldn’t get out of our own half.
“Fortunately, the water break came at a good time and we managed to regroup.
“I always thought it would be a game where we would need to show a lot of patience and be clinical, which we were.
“We created two fantastic chances and dispatched them brilliantly.”
McInnes and the squad have watched footage of Apollon Limassol in action and have also studied detailed dossiers.
However, they also have the benefit of recent signing Kari Arnason’s inside knowledge, as he played in Cyprus last season with AC Omonia.
Arnason was ineligible for the second qualifying round tie against Siroki Brijeg having signed 24 hours after the first leg.
However, the Icelandic international is in contention to start against Apollon Limassol tomorrow.
Considine said: “I am sure Apollon Limassol will be a very good team and Kari Arnason will know a lot about them because he was in Cyprus.”