Teenagers Scott Wright and Frank Ross were today challenged to force their way into boss Derek McInnes’ first team plans.
Both Wright, 19, and Ross, 18, came on as late substitutes in the 4-0 Scottish Cup fourth round win over Stranraer at Pittodrie.
Boss McInnes aims to strengthen his squad by securing new signings before the January transfer window closes next Tuesday.
One target is Preston North End striker Stevie May on a loan deal until summer.
However, McInnes also wants Pittodrie young guns Wright and Ross to strengthen his options by pushing for selection in the second half of the season.
McInnes said: “Both boys have a real level of ability and what we are trying to get from Frank and Scott is that consistency and trust that any manager and coaching staff want.
“It is important they take that from that taste of football against Stranraer and being among it.
“And then try to force the issue to get more game time.
“That has to come day in, day out and in development games as well.”
Scotland youth international Wright was introduced as a sub for Andy Considine with quarter of an hour left against the League One strugglers.
The winger recently penned a new contract until summer 2019.
Wright, who has nine Dons appearances with eight off the bench, made his debut in the Europa League first qualifying round match against Daugava Riga in 2014.
He made his first start in the final game of last season, a 4-0 home loss to Ross County.
Midfielder Ross replaced Kenny McLean with seven minutes remaining
It was his fifth appearance as a substitute, having made a debut in the 1-1 draw at Dundee in May 2015.
McInnes said: “Both boys did very well when they came on and it was important for the supporters to see that.”
Meanwhile, McInnes today praised the Dons for seeing off Stranraer with a professional performance to book a Scottish Cup fifth round tie away to Ross County next month.
McInnes said: “We created a few chances and Stranraer’s keeper made some great saves before we got in front.
“The experience of the team showed because we did not panic with that, we just kept going and doing our jobs.
“It was professional.
“We stressed what was required was to have real energy, good enthusiasm and to move Stranraer about with a quick tempo.
“We scored very good goals and there were some good individual performances.
“Considering we had not played for more than three weeks it was a good high level of performance which pleases me as there could have been some rustiness there.
“There were small signs of that early on with finishing but by and large a good day’s work.”