Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass has challenged players set to go out of contract to fight for their Pittodrie futures.
Glass is ready to rebuild his squad over the summer in the bid for success.
However, he hasn’t closed the door on those with deals set to expire at the end of the season.
The 44-year-old insists every player now has a clean slate and the opportunity to impress if they want to be part of his plans.
It’s important that the players right now have a motivation, which is a real opportunity to be here next year.
“So if we win as many games as we hope to between now and the end of the season then we’ve been successful, and the players make it difficult for us.”
But to be part of Glass’ Reds revolution, players must prove they can handle the heat of gunning for the Scottish Cup and a third-placed Premiership finish.
He wants to know if players are up to that challenge and can also handle his style of play.
Glass’ squad assessment will ramp up today when the Dons host Livingston in the Scottish Cup.
The new manager said: “It’s important that the players right now have a motivation, which is a real opportunity to be here next year.
“So if we win as many games as we hope to between now and the end of the season then we’ve been successful and the players make it difficult for us.
“The benefit of having this period between now and the summer is getting the chance to assess the group, see what they’ve got and how they perform in pressure situations.
“I expect them to be handling that at this club.
“We have a lot of players out of contract and some of them might not want to stay, but I think most of them will want to be part of things.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of the players and they’re sensible enough to know that there’s a new manager in so right now, I can’t give them answers.
“So if they come knocking, how do I know they can handle the way we want to play and are they up for the challenge?”
Eight players are out of contract at the end of the season – Tommie Hoban, Greg Leigh, Mikey Devlin, Niall McGinn, Ash Taylor, Ethan Ross, Shay Logan and Bruce Anderson.
Full-back Logan is currently on loan at Championship winners Hearts and is expected to make that move permanent.
Striker Anderson is currently on loan at Hamilton, but Glass aims to open talks with Anderson over a new Aberdeen deal.
Glass has no senior strikers signed for next season yet as Florian Kamberi (St Gallen), Fraser Hornby (Stade de Reims) and Callum Hendry (St Johnstone) are all only at Pittodrie on loan until the end of the campaign.
Glass said: “We will be speaking to them all.
“The games are coming quick-fire and that means we have to get on top of things.
“I think players these days are less worried about what’s coming next.
“I am sure they will want their futures sorted, but some of them don’t mind the delay because they feel they might get something better.
“Our job is to make this club attractive to stay at.
“Everyone talks about producing the young players and selling them, but if we can get to the stage where the young players don’t want to leave the club then I think we have done unbelievably well.”
Glass thinks Livi boss Martindale is example to follow
Glass will be looking for an immediate impact today and points to Livingston boss David Martindale as the level of momentum possible under a new manager.
He said: “We will approach the game thinking about we will win it while respecting Livingston.
“They came up here and won 2-0, we have not done too great against them.
“Their manager did really well, started with 12 games unbeaten and most of them were wins.
“For a new manager in this league with the number of games we have left this season, if I can do as well as David Martindale did at the start of his career then I will be doing all right, so there is a lot of respect there.”
⚽️🔴 Stephen Glass finally arrives at Cormack Park – but what will be the new Dons boss' immediate priorities?
— EveningExpress Sport (@ee_sport) April 13, 2021