Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass’ new-look strikeforce is off to a flying start – but the Dons boss insists there can be no room for complacency.
Aberdeen head for Sweden this week with a 5-1 lead against BK Hacken as they bid to book their place in the third qualifying round of the Conference League.
The new forward line of Ryan Hedges, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Christian Ramirez are major reasons for the Dons taking a commanding lead to Gothenburg for the second leg following an impressive display on their first outing together at Pittodrie on Thursday.
Glass is encouraged by what he watched and is certainly looking for more, but his pressing concern is ensuring his players do not head for Sweden believing the job is done.
The Aberdeen manager said: “Good players bounce off one another and they react well to each other.
“They all did their bit for the team as well, which was the first thing I asked of them.
“I wanted them to work for the team and when good players do that, have the ball and are dominating the bulk of possession, especially as we did in the first half, good things can happen.
“However, it is important we don’t get carried away – it is one game.
“I know they (Hacken) would like nothing more than to turn this around as it would be a big, big story if that could happen.
“It is important that we do our job right.”
Aberdeen’s healthy lead is not just down to the exploits of the attacking, creative players. The Dons were equally resolute in defence against the Swedes, who have gone unbeaten domestically under their new manager Per-Mathias Hogmo.
One of the standout defensive displays came from Calvin Ramsay.
The full-back, who turns 18 on Saturday, gave an assured display beyond his tender years in the demolition of Hacken and Glass hopes the teenager can build on his excellent showing.
The Dons boss said: “He is a young player, but we put faith in him to play. He is 17 years old and he was under no illusions that Thursday was a big game for us as a club.
“For the staff, have we picked the right team, have we prepared right. We put a 17-year-old in the team and he was brilliant.”
Glass hopes Ramsay’s fine display can inspire the other youth academy players coming through at Pittodrie to follow in his footsteps.
The Aberdeen boss insists opportunities will be given to Barry Robson’s young squad, but they will have to be earned.
He said: “Calvin has trained really hard and young Jack MacKenzie came on late on in the second half as well.
“These are not players you are hiding up the pitch – these are full-backs who are in the thick of the action.
“Connor McLennan came on and got his goal, another academy product.
Enjoyed that one😆 brilliant performance from the boys👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/UilNhtrTqT
— Connor McLennan (@mclennan_connor) July 23, 2021
“The message at this club has always been that if you are good enough you are old enough.
“If players are good enough and earning it, they will get an opportunity – but they have to earn it.
“It is good that young players can see a pathway to get into the first team and that there is a management here that will put them in if they are deserving of the opportunity.”