Dundee drop disappointment made me better player says Wright

Aberdeen Scott Wright
Aberdeen Scott Wright

Scott Wright believes the disappointment of relegation has equipped him to become a Dons regular.

The winger is in line to feature for Aberdeen tonight against Finland’s RoPS Rovaniemi at Pittodrie in the first leg of the Europa League first qualifying round.

If Wright does play it will be his first competitive appearance in red since a 4-1 Scottish Cup win over Stenhousemuir on January 29.

After that the 21-year-old was sent on loan to struggling Dundee.

Wright impressed in his 13 appearances for the Dark Blues, but was unable to stop them finishing bottom of the Premiership and being relegated at the end of last season.

However, Wright believes the pain he felt at Dens Park will help as he returns to Pittodrie and tries to become a first-team regular in Derek McInnes’ side.

He said: “Personally I loved Dundee, I loved staying down there and playing there. It was just bittersweet with the way it ended with relegation.

“But it’s weird because going to Dundee was a good and bad experience for me.

“It was good because I was playing regularly and I think it rounded off my football education and has made me stronger coming back to Aberdeen.

“But it was bad because unfortunately Dundee were relegated.

“Before the move we spoke about going away and playing regularly.

“I went to Dundee and did that and I was part of the team. We were all pulling in the same direction trying to keep the club up.

“Unfortunately we just weren’t able to do that.

“From being at Dundee I’m used to playing more games and coming back here there’s a different kind of pressure. You’re expected to win every week and be at the top of the table.

“At Dundee it was a relegation fight, but the games were just as important in terms of trying to stay in the league.

“I think I’ve come back a better player with more experience and I’m hungry and ready to go.

“If I’m picked hopefully I can force my way back into the team and keep myself in the team. The most important thing for me is trying to nail down a spot in the team and make it my own.

“The pressure on us here is what you want as a footballer. It’s a case of channelling it in the right way to get results.”

Tonight’s game will be the start of Aberdeen’s sixth straight European campaign under gaffer McInnes.

In the previous five the Dons have fallen at the third qualifying round stage on four occasions and the second qualifying round last year.

The Reds’ target once again in the Europa League is to reach the group stages.

To achieve that they will have to come through four qualifying ties.

It’s a tall order, but Wright hopes this evening’s opener against RoPS can be the start of the journey to the groups and added: “We have to aim for the group stages and just take it game by game and tie by tie to try to get there.

“Our focus is on RoPS and we’ll take it from there.

“We know that they like to play a bit, but hopefully we can have the majority of the ball at Pittodrie and get on top of them and get after them.

“The onus is on us to get forward because we’re playing in front of our fans and that’s something we’re looking forward to.”

With a potentially challenging trip to Lapland awaiting the Dons next week Wright believes it is import to take a lead into the second leg.

He said: “We recognise it will be difficult going over to Finland with the plastic pitch and the conditions.

“Realistically we would love to get a win at home, but we won’t panic if we don’t.

“We know the onus is on us to attack, but realistically it’s important we keep a clean sheet – that is perhaps the most important thing for us.

“If we keep a clean sheet it gives us a platform because the tie is over two legs.

“We’ve been in Europe for a few years now so we’re experienced and know what we need to do.”