Ryan Hedges reckons Sam Cosgrove can fire the Dons to another win in Rijeka.
The Aberdeen striker continued his blistering start to the season with a double in Sunday’s 3-2 Premiership win over Hearts.
Hedges was also on target as Cosgrove took his tally to eight goals in five games this term and 27 in 33 matches since December.
On Thursday the Reds return to Rijeka in the Europa League third qualifying round first leg.
Four years ago Derek McInnes’ men beat the Croatian outfit 3-0 away from home and 5-2 on aggregate.
Ahead of this week’s rematch, Hedges hopes Cosgrove’s red-hot run continues.
The 24-year-old Welsh international said: “You can see in games, and especially in training, what he can do and the goals he can produce.
“When you’ve got players pushing him on like Curtis Main and Bruce Anderson, it makes him a better player. Eight goals in five games is not a bad return for anybody.
“I think his first goal against Hearts showed the quality that he’s got and the pace that he possesses.
“Sometimes you probably would label him as a target man but he’s got many more strings in his bow. That’s been proven.
“It’s not a bad confidence booster to have – if you get the ball to him he’s going to score.
“The squad as a whole is high in confidence and, if Sam can keep banging them in and everybody around him keeps chipping in, there’s no reason we can’t go to Rijeka and get a result.
“They’re coming in as a third round seed so that’s something we need to look at. We know their qualities and we know they’re a good team, but we’ve shown we’re more than capable of going there and getting something.”
Just Andy Considine, Shay Logan, Ash Taylor and Niall McGinn remain from the triumph against Rijeka in 2015.
Ahead of the tie, Hedges has also spoken to Leicester goalie and Welsh international team-mate Danny Ward about the Reds’ win four years ago.
He added: “I’ve spoken to Danny Ward about the last time Aberdeen played there.
“Ash and Andy have said that when they went there the first time that they were about 40 or 50 games unbeaten at home. They won 3-0, so why can’t we do the same?”
One thing hanging over the Dons ahead of Thursday is the question of whether Scott McKenna will be involved.
The defender handed in a transfer request yesterday which was rejected, with Aberdeen having rebuffed recent advances from Nottingham Forest and Queen’s Park Rangers.
Hedges, speaking prior to McKenna’s transfer request, said: “You can see why (teams are interested), the quality that Scotty possesses. I’m sure if something does happen with Scotty then we’re more than capable of dealing with it.
“We’ve got Mikey Devlin and Ash Taylor coming back from injury and they can step in and do a job. He’s been Scotland captain and that has probably boosted his confidence. And boosted his value! He deserves it.
“Whatever move comes about, if it does come about, he definitely deserves it and he’s proved that on the pitch.”
Hedges hit the winner on Sunday as the Dons came from 2-1 down to win their Premiership opener against Hearts 3-2.
The former Barnsley player was delighted to bag his first goal for Aberdeen and start the domestic campaign with a win.
He said: “The two quickfire goals against us didn’t help and it was against the run of play. To win it like that is not a bad way to win it.
“It’s nice to finally get off the mark. I’ve got to get into those positions to get the goals and luckily I was there to get my shot away. The crowd definitely played their part – you could sense them getting behind us and willing a goal in at that end.
“The players on the pitch reacted well to that and after the sending off we dominated. When it went to 2-2, you could feel that goal coming. As a squad, we’ll have a few back and I don’t think there’s been any knocks. We’re looking positive going into Thursday’s game.
“It’s unbelievable. What a way to get off the mark and make my league debut here.
“It’s one of the best changing rooms I’ve been in. Every lad has been unbelievable with me, especially coming in as a new player.
“Every new player has came in and felt right at home, which is what you like to see. You can see that togetherness on the pitch.
“We went behind against Hearts, but there were never any heads dropping on the pitch or on the bench. That showed as we got the win.”