New signing Matty Kennedy insists he can handle the pressure of sharpening Aberdeen’s blunt attack.
Dons boss Derek McInnes pushed through a deal understood to be worth £75,000 plus add-ons to land the winger from St Johnstone.
The 25-year-old Northern Ireland international squad player had already agreed a pre-contract to join the Dons in the summer.
However, McInnes was so desperate to secure Kennedy’s pace and creativity he moved to land him now.
Kennedy is determined to repay that faith by creating and scoring goals to haul the Dons out of their scoring rut.
He said: “I can handle the pressure.
“I want to prove I’m a good player, create chances for my team-mates and score goals.
“I’m confident so I don’t mind a bit of pressure.
“Even though it was my first game I still wanted to get on the ball.
“I felt I could have got on it more, but I won’t shy away.
“It is good that the manager has faith in me.
“I’ll do my best in every game and the pressure doesn’t faze me.”
On Friday Kennedy became the second major signing of the window when he penned a three-and-a-half-year contract until summer 2023.
He insists the stability of that long-term deal will give him the environment to thrive.
Kennedy said: “I’m looking forward to the next chapter. I’ve spent a lot of time on loan.
“I had a two-year contract at St Johnstone, but I am really settled here now with a three-and-a-half-year deal.
“I play better when I’m settled, rather than being punted out on loan here and there. I’m happy to be here and it will be even better once I get my fitness up.”
Kennedy is still short of that full match sharpness because prior to signing for Aberdeen he had not played since before the Premiership’s winter break.
Crucially, he missed St Johnstone’s 3-0 Scottish Cup defeat of Morton and is not cup tied for the competition.
Kennedy will be free to face Kilmarnock, the club where he began his career, in the fifth round at Pittodrie on Saturday February 8.
Despite not playing for Saints since the 1-1 draw with Ross County on December 29, Kennedy was pitched straight into the starting line-up by McInnes.
The winger revealed his frustration at St Johnstone and admitted he didn’t know if he “was coming or going” during the window.
He wanted to play – and even went to discuss his omission with Saints boss Tommy Wright hours before Aberdeen pushed through the deal to secure him.
Kennedy said: “I was delighted to make my debut. There was a lot of speculation and I didn’t know if I was coming or going at St Johnstone, so I’m just happy to be here.
“I’d only trained once with the boys and the gaffer (McInnes) threw me in, so I was delighted to get 90 minutes under my belt.
“I’d not played since the last game before the break so it was good to get my fitness up.
“It was a bit frustrating. St Johnstone obviously wanted to keep me.
“I didn’t play the last two games so I was delighted to get it out the way.
“Tommy (Wright) told me he’d like to have played me, but he wasn’t going to until it was all sorted out either way.
“I actually chapped his door the day I went to Aberdeen because I didn’t know what was going on and I said I wasn’t happy not playing.
“We had a bit of a laugh about it, to be honest.
“He just said it wasn’t fair on the boys or on me, maybe it was affecting me a little bit.
“He just said he didn’t know if my head would be right.
“I told him it was and it didn’t matter if or when I’d be leaving, I wanted to play.
“St Johnstone did a lot for me, as did Tommy. I wanted to play every minute.
“Tommy was great for me, he was a really big part of me going there and I enjoyed working with him day in, day out.”
Some of the near 1,000-strong travelling Aberdeen support at St Mirren vented their frustrations, with chants calling for manager McInnes’ head.
In the aftermath of the draw, McInnes admitted he was “gutted” to hear those chants.
Kennedy, though, was oblivious. He said: “I didn’t hear any of that stuff so I couldn’t comment. But Aberdeen are a big club and they expect to win every game. It didn’t happen on Sunday, but hopefully now we can kick on and pick up the three points most weeks.”