Boss Derek McInnes today claimed finishing second in the Premiership has shut up Rangers and Hibs who both claimed they were better than Aberdeen.
In a dramatic finale the Reds secured a runners-up finish with a sensational 1-0 win at champions Celtic.
Andy Considine netted the vital goal that confirmed second for a fourth straight season and ruined the Hoops’ title party.
It ended the Dons’ 14-year league drought at Parkhead where they had failed to register a single point in 25 games dating back to October 2004.
The Reds took second in style by handing Brendan Rodgers his first domestic home defeat in two years as Celtic manager.
Aberdeen finished three points ahead of Rangers who were held 5-5 in a crazy game at Hibs.
Now McInnes will immediately begin his summer rebuilding to ensure they retain that status of second despite Rangers’ appointment of Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard as manager.
He said: “There is a lot of satisfaction which comes when people doubt us.
“It has been aimed at us from Hibs players saying they had the better mentality or that we maybe feared Hibs.
“Or the Rangers players saying they were the second best team.
“Or Celtic players saying Hibs were the second best team.
“Whatever it is, whatever motivation we need at times all played a part at Parkhead and came out in our performance.
“The players to a man deserve credit for their performance and also for their effort and resolve.
“The motivation to do well was clear from every one of them.
“This shows what we are capable of.
“I hope everyone could see what I saw at Parkhead. It was a brilliant team performance.
“I loved my team at Parkhead. I absolutely loved my team.”
There is little time for celebration for McInnes as he was today straight back into the bid to strengthen the Reds in the summer transfer window.
He said: “We will enjoy the night but from Monday morning it is all about just getting the best players in.
“I know what I have needed to do for a while now.
“Prior to the Celtic game I had been really energised by the fact we are getting closer to the window.”
Aberdeen held a one- point advantage over Rangers going into the final day shoot-out.
McInnes had the score-line of Rangers’ game at Easter Road relayed to him throughout the match by Under-20s coach Paul Sheerin and kit-man Jim Warrander.
Hibs raced into a 3-0 win early on but Rangers remarkably pulled it back to lead 5-3 at one point.
McInnes said: “There is nothing better than looking after your own business.
“We were well aware it was 3-0.
“They were very quick to tell me that.
“They weren’t so quick to tell me when it was three each and then 5-4 (Rangers).
“We felt that at 3-3 the momentum was with Rangers so we had to go and win it.
“We spoke about that at half-time and didn’t want anybody thinking a draw was good enough and back slapping.”
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers fielded a strong starting 11, shooting down any potential wild conspiracy theories that the Hoops might lay down to Aberdeen to dent their Old Firm rivals’ chances.
McInnes said: “Maybe some people from the outside looking in might cast aspersion and say if Celtic really wanted to win that.
“Of course they did.
“He (Brendan Rodgers) was throwing everything at it.
“You could see their team and it is a standard, strong Celtic team when they play Aberdeen.
“The bench was littered with game changers and threats.
“Brendan took them all on to get that.
“There is no doubt Celtic wanted to win but thankfully we wanted to win that wee bit more and we got the job done.”
Following the final whistle Aberdeen right-back Shaleum Logan was red-carded after a confrontation with Dedryck Boyata, who appeared to take exception to Logan’s victory celebrations.
McInnes said: “It starts the fines for next season.
“He will be fined, although we will look at the level of the fine.
“I don’t know what happened.
“Maybe the Celtic player took offence to us over celebrating which Shaleum can be guilty of at times.
“It is disappointing that it ended up like that.”