Lewis Ferguson has hailed the impact of summer signing Jon Gallagher following his competitive debut against RoPS Rovaniemi.
The Irishman, who is on loan from MLS champions Atlanta United until January, was a livewire for Aberdeen in the 2-1 win over Finns RoPS in the first leg of the Europa League first qualifying round.
Ferguson played in a deep-lying midfield role last week and the versatile Gallagher operated in front of him in a more advanced central midfield position for much of the game.
In the second period the 23-year-old spent more time on the left wing.
But throughout the game Gallagher was a threat for the Dons due to his pace and willingness to take on defenders.
He set up the Reds’ second goal with Sam Cosgrove turning in his pin-point cross.
Ferguson was impressed with the summer addition and said: “He’s all over the park and he’s so quick and athletic.
“Jon slotted straight into position on Thursday and I thought he was excellent.
“He had so much energy and was driving forward with the ball and even in the last 10 minutes he was still driving forward and showed he was a real good ball carrier.
“He could have added a goal which would have topped it off – but he was excellent.”
Aberdeen were in command against RoPS, leading 2-0 at Pittodrie.
But Tommi Jantti’s stoppage-time strike took the shine off the performance for Derek McInnes’ side.
It also means progression to face either CS Fola Esch of Luxembourg or Georgians Chikhura Sachkhere is not yet assured.
However, Ferguson believes a similar display in Thursday’s return leg in Lapland to the one the Dons produced in the Granite City should be enough to see them through.
The 19-year-old added: “I thought we controlled the game very well and I thought the standard of football was excellent.
“We played really good stuff, especially in the final third.
“We created more than enough chances to come in at 4-0 or 5-0.
“There wasn’t that clinical finishing to put more of the chances away and sadly we’re talking about slack defending at the end that cost us a goal.
“I’m pretty confident if we go over there and play the same type of football with that intensity that we’ll come away with a victory.
“They’re a good side and they’re in this competition for a reason.
“Their goal was a quality bit of football and that’s what happens in Europe, a split-second can cost you.
“if we play with the intensity and energy of Thursday I’m confident we can get through the tie.”