Former Aberdeen assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl believes Derek McInnes staying on as manager at Pittodrie is crucial to the Dons’ hopes of reaching the Europa League group stages.
Reds boss McInnes held discussions with English Championship club Sunderland about their vacant managerial post but turned them down following the talks.
Staying put means McInnes is preparing for another European campaign with Aberdeen.
And on Monday the Dons were drawn to face either FC Ordabasy Shymkent of Kazakhstan or NK Siroki Brijeg of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the second round of Europa League qualifying.
Nicholl, who spent five years in the Granite City as assistant manager to Jimmy Calderwood, thinks McInnes staying provides the Dons with a huge boost ahead of their European campaign which the club have confirmed will kick off on Thursday, July 13, at Pittodrie.
He said: “It is an absolutely massive thing for Aberdeen going into Europe that Derek is staying.
“When managers leave and new managers come in you can get a complete change in terms of the attitude, the approach and the style of play as well as which players they may like.
“So it’s massive for Aberdeen heading into the new season that Derek and Tony Docherty are still at the club.
“What they have done over the last few years has been great – being at the top end of the league, reaching cup finals, winning a cup. And they have also had some good European results.
“So that is bound to help Aberdeen having a settled management team before they go into the European games.
“He obviously has a great relationship with his playing squad as well.
“It will give the players a boost that Derek has stayed.
“And even though a few players have left in this transfer window the players will know that he will replace them with more good players.
“They will have seen his recruitment in previous seasons and know what he can do.
“No player loves uncertainty, and if a new manager is coming in and changing things the players are not sure how it will pan out.
“A player could have played 40 games last season because the manager thought he was good but then somebody else can come in and may not think the same.
“But in my opinion all the players will be pleased that the club has managed to keep Derek.”
Nicholl was with the Dons from 2004 to 2009 and was part of their memorable run to the last-32 of the Uefa Cup in 2007/08.
That campaign included beating Ukrainian side Dnipro on away goals in qualifying to reach the group stages, during which they thumped Copenhagen of Denmark 4-0 at Pittodrie to set up a glamour knock-out tie with German giants Bayern Munich.
The former Raith Rovers manager hopes the Dons can make the group stage this season but recognises it will be tough as they will have to overcome three qualifying rounds compared to just one in 2007.
He also believes that the core of European experience within the Reds’ ranks can help them after losing in the third qualifying round in each of the last three seasons.
He added: “Most of the players have had a couple of years of European experience.
“They will know how it felt, particularly going out of Europe and I’m sure they will want to go further after losing in the third qualifying round over the past few years.
“The players know what they need to do to get through qualifying.
“Every player will be pushing themselves and will want to make the groups after previous near misses.
“You would like to think the experience the players and the management team have amassed in Europe over the last few years will help them this time.
“They know what the challenge is and Derek will be encouraging the players to rise to that challenge.”
Although Nicholl also stressed the importance of preparation, especially given that both of the teams the Dons could face in the second qualifying round are unknown quantities to most in Scottish football.
But Nicholl is confident that whoever Aberdeen face, they will be well prepared for the challenge.
He said: “They are going to be up against sides who are relatively unknown but Derek will do plenty of preparation.
“At least with modern scouting systems the information is more available for him to tap into.
“Years ago if you were drawn against a team from Kazakhstan it would have been almost impossible for the manager to watch them.
“However, it is still important that they do prepare. In modern football you find that players require the information about their opposition.
“I have no doubts that whether it is Ordabasy or Brijeg that Aberdeen play, all the players will be well prepared and know what they’re up against.”