In recent years Derek McInnes has faced a constant battle to keep Aberdeen competitive – despite losing some of his best players.
This season the Dons boss has managed it once again with his side having reached the League Cup final, still in the hunt for a Europa League qualifying place and potentially 90 minutes away from the Scottish Cup final.
On Sunday the Reds face Celtic at Hampden for the right to play Hearts or Inverness Caley Thistle in next month’s final.
This weekend’s clash is Aberdeen’s eighth cup semi-final since McInnes took charge in March 2013.
In the Premiership there have been four second-place finishes and one third – with another top-three place on the cards this term.
McInnes takes great pride in the Dons continuing to be one of Scotland’s best sides, even though a number of his best players have left the Granite City in recent years.
Jonny Hayes, Kenny McLean, Ryan Jack, Ash Taylor, Peter Pawlett, Ryan Christie, Niall McGinn – who has since returned to the club – and Adam Rooney are just some of those McInnes has worked with.
With captain Graeme Shinnie and winger Gary Mackay-Steven out of contract in the summer, McInnes could lose more of his top stars.
Loan deals for Max Lowe, Greg Stewart and James Wilson also expire, meaning another summer rebuild could be on the cards.
McInnes said: “That does show what we can be up against and we might have to reinvent the team again.
“If players leave again then we will be looking at that. The challenge of being up there competing is difficult.
“Loads of teams can be good for a period of weeks and months – or maybe even a season.
“But my teams and my squads have been consistent for a long time – it’s six years now of consistency.
“It has been different squads but it’s been down to how we work as a club. It’s testament to all my staff, the board and everyone at the club who have given us that chance to be competitive over a six-year period.
“That’s not easy to do because if it was easy everyone else would be doing it as well.”
Although the squad that will tackle Celtic this weekend has a younger feel to it, there is plenty of Hampden experience.
The younger members got a taste for the national stadium with the League Cup semi-final and final earlier in the season, while older heads like McGinn and Andy Considine have been with the Dons for all the previous trips to Hampden under McInnes.
The Pittodrie gaffer believes it’s important to be familiar with the Mount Florida ground ahead of the latest visit.
He added: “It’s important we use the experiences we have and use the familiarity of being at Hampden so often.
“It’s important to focus on the game and take care of that, because that is the challenge. Nothing else around it will phase us. Having been at Hampden before, it does help.
“You are revisiting it and you are familiar with the surroundings and the build-up.
“Even this week it is familiar and there is a bit more calm about it.
“But underneath that there is still an excitement and there should be excitement.
“If my players aren’t excited about this game and if our supporters aren’t excited about this game, that isn’t right.
“While we are excited there is a calmness around what needs to be done on Sunday.
“We will be comfortable in our surroundings and that is never a bad thing.”