MARK Reynolds insists the Dons pushed Celtic for the title just like Rangers used to.
Aberdeen FC made the Hoops work for their fourth consecutive title last season.
Ronny Deila’s side only secured the championship in May.
The Reds led the table at the turn of the year and even went four points in front. Celtic eventually went on to win the league by 17 points.
But while many wrote off the Pittodrie club’s title credentials mid-season, Reynolds believes the top-flight was back to two teams going neck and neck.
The Scotland defender told the Daily Record: “The great thing about last season is that the two top teams started to react to each other’s results.
“It was back to the way it was when Rangers were in the league and challenging Celtic. They’d win on a Saturday then the other would get a result the following day.
“That’s what used to take the Old Firm away from the rest of the pack. It was like that with us. Celtic were reacting to our results. When they felt the pressure was on and they had to win, they made sure they did.
“Such is the animal that is Celtic, they put their foot on the gas when they had to.
“When we look back at it as a whole, I think we put up a sustained challenge to Celtic in second place.
“We pushed them hard but ultimately fell short. No one thought we’d stay that close to Celtic for as long as we did.
“Last season we were consistently winning on a weekly basis. Without being disrespectful – and it’s great when you do it – but anyone can win a cup.
“It’s a lot harder to go 38 games putting in consistently good performances like we did. So it was a good season for us and we’ve definitely progressed as a team.
“Hopefully we can use it to build and further improve next season.
“Celtic will always be up there and they’re our target. We have to try to latch on to them as early as we can.”
The Dons players are back for pre-season training a week on Monday as they prepare for the Europa League qualifiers next month.
But Reynolds is not complaining about the lack of rest and is adamant the players would rather play European football in July than pre-season running on the sand dunes at Balmedie Beach.
He added: “It’s a short summer for us due to the Europa League but the good thing is I won’t lose any of my fitness.
“I’m ready to play now. If you ask any player about the running at pre-season – it’s ideal if you can miss it and just go straight into games. So I’m looking forward to it.”