Considine calling on entire squad to step it up for the Dons this term

Aberdeen's Andrew Considine.
Aberdeen's Andrew Considine.

Defender Andy Considine reckons everyone in the Dons squad will have to step up in the new campaign.

Aberdeen begin their season with a Europa League second qualifying round clash with Burnley on Thursday July 26.

Following the Battle of Britain with the English top-flight Clarets, the Premiership campaign kicks off with a home showdown with Rangers.

New Gers boss Steven Gerrard has splashed millions on rebuilding the squad at Ibrox.

Celtic paid £9 million to sign Odsonne Edouard on a four-year deal from Paris St Germain.

Considine accepts the stakes have been raised for the new campaign and reckons every Don will be needed to secure success.

He said: “It is going to be a tough season coming up.

“Reading the papers and looking through social media, you see everyone is bolstering their squads.

“It is going to need every single one of us in the camp plus a few of the young boys to get us through as it will be a long season.

“Although it will be tough we are looking forward to it as it is exciting.”

The Dons squad has already been stretched during pre-season. A friendly at Inverness Caley Thistle on Wednesday had to be called off due to injury problems.

Summer signing Stephen Gleeson (knee), Niall McGinn (thigh), Mikey Devlin (groin) and Frank Ross (groin) are injured.

The Reds are still awaiting the full results of a scan which will reveal the extent of Gleeson’s injury.

He will miss tomorrow’s friendly with Cove Rangers, but the Dons are still hopeful he could feature against Burnley in the Europa League second qualifying round, the first leg of which is on July 26.

Another summer signing, Chris Forrester (groin), and Sam Cosgrove (calf) were also injured but are expected to be fit to face Cove tomorrow.

So far this summer the Dons have only signed three players with £200,000 outlaid for the capture of Forrester from Peterborough United.

Republic of Ireland international Gleeson was secured on a free. An SPFL tribunal will decide the training compensation due for teenager Lewis Ferguson who signed from Hamilton.

Polish defender Krystian Nowak is currently training with the Dons and is set to feature as a trialist in tomorrow’s friendly.

The 24-year-old is a free agent having had his contract with Greek side Panionios terminated earlier this summer.

Aberdeen also had a bid for Doncaster striker John Marquis, understood to be for £250,000, rejected.

Boss Derek McInnes confirmed that bid was the highest the Reds could go to and they will now look at other potential targets for centre-forward.

Celtic and Rangers have both invested heavily in their squads this season.

But Considine insists the heavy spending of the Old Firm will only inspire Aberdeen.

He said: “Celtic always generate so much money through their transfers and whatever.

“You expect it from them.

“Due to the situation with Rangers they haven’t been able to do that, but this year they have. It is great to see and is healthy for Scottish football.

“A strong Rangers is good for the league.

“It also brings us on.

“In the past few years or so we have still remained second so regardless of what they are going to spend we are still going to challenge this season again.”

Aberdeen’s preparations for the Euro tie with Burnley conclude with a friendly against West Brom at Pittodrie on Friday.

The Baggies were relegated to the Championship at the end of last season.

Considine said: ”When we play West Brom here that will be a good indication of what is coming.

“Although they were obviously relegated, in my eyes they are still a Premier League team.

“That will be a good test for us and will show where we are at and what is coming opposition wise.”

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