On-loan winger Jon Gallagher today insisted the Dons can make the group stages in the Europa League for the first time under boss Derek McInnes.
And he insists there can be no excuses about heat or low crowds if the Dons fail to do the job against Chikhura Sachkhere over two legs to keep that target alive.
The Reds will take another step towards their goal when facing Chikhura in Tbilisi in the second qualifying round first leg tonight.
Secured from Atlanta United until January, Gallagher played a key role in setting up this clash in the Georgian capital.
Gallagher produced a man of the match display on his competitive Dons’ debut in the 2-1 first qualifying round first leg defeat of RoPS Rovaniemi at Pittodrie.
The 23-year-old insists reaching the group stages was discussed as a target during pre-season and the Dons aim to deliver.
He said: “Reaching the group stages is definitely the goal among the team and we said that in pre-season.
“We feel like we have a good chance of doing that, but just have to be consistent and show up in both legs.”
The logistics of tonight’s tie have thrown up challenges with the heat likely to be 30C and the game played in an almost empty stadium.
Less than 1,000 are expected at tonight’s tie, played at the 54,500 capacity national stadium.
There was also the six-hour flight into Georgia the day before the game.
He said: “The heat shouldn’t be too bad.
“I played in the southern part of America in Atlanta where there is hot weather, so I will be somewhat used to those temperatures.
“Hopefully the temperature drops before the game.
“The key to playing in heat is following the manager’s plan, being smart with your energy and trying not to burn off too much in that opening 20 minutes.
“In Scotland the air is nice and open, but over here in Georgia it is a bit more clammy and you feel stuffed up.
“You just have to pace yourself.
“The stadium looks like a good set-up and hopefully the pitch is good so we can get the ball down and play.
“We had a bit of trouble with that on the Astro surface in Finland last week.”
Chikhura Sachkhere have had to play their tie at the national arena as their own 2,000 Central Stadium does not meet the requirements set down by UEFA to host a Euro tie.
They have travelled 150 miles from their base, a journey that takes three hours.
The Georgians are so desperate to boost crowd numbers they have made tonight’s game free entry to both supporters from both teams.
“It will be something that we have to deal with,” he said.
“Once you are on the pitch you don’t really notice stuff like the size of the crowd.
“We will create our own atmosphere and intensity with the way we play tonight.”
Chikhura Sachkhere manager Samson Pruidze has warned Aberdeen that he has pinpointed weaknesses in their play he aims to exploit to wreck the Dons’ European dream
When asked about this, Gallagher said: “The way we play we will put the target on their back regardless of who is favourite or not.
“We always put the target on the opponent’s back and will do that again tonight.”
Gallagher has swapped one Georgia for another.
Now he will run out in the capital of the Eastern European nation that is close to the border with Asia.
Versatile Gallagher, who has played in attack, midfield, the wing and right-back, travelled 4,000 miles from the States to sign on at the Dons.
He has already exceeded those air miles with a trip to face Rovaniemi of Finland in the Arctic Circle before the 6,400-mile round trip to Tbilisi.
“I have never played a team from this side of Europe before so it will be something fresh for me, for all of us,” he explained.
“We will be prepared for what comes.
“It was a long flight to get here, but that is part of the job.
“We will not be making any excuses because it works both ways as they will have to come the same distance to us next week.
“We are out in Georgia on the back of a good win in Finland last week and are trying to keep that momentum going.
“There is a quiet confidence within the squad, although we know there is a job that has to be done.”
It has been a remarkable 18 months ascent for Gallagher as at the turn of the year in 2018 he was studying business at the University of Notre Dame.
He represented Notre Dame, overseen by Dons legend Bobby Clark, in the NCAA tournament, and Clark coached Gallagher for four years.
However, his fortunes turned when he was selected by Atlanta United as the 14th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft.
It was vindication and payback for the Dundalk-born player who had trials with Euro giants Juventus and Marseilles as well as Newcastle United and Blackburn.
During his time in America, he trained alongside 2007 Ballon d’Or winner Kaka at Orlando and World Cup winners David Villa and Andrea Pirlo at New York.
He has a pedigree and hopes to fulfil that at Aberdeen.
Gallagher got off to a flying start with an impressive debut in the first leg against RoPS.
He said: “Hopefully the Aberdeen fans see that I give everything for the team.
“I did not put too much pressure on myself for that debut.
“When the game came and the whistle went I ran until I couldn’t run anymore.
“That is the way I always play.
“On that day things went well for myself and the team.
“Hopefully it will be the same again in Georgia.”