Dons winger Connor McLennan insists his side will not let the “kick in the teeth” of conceding a late goal at Pittodrie come back to bite them in Finland tonight.
Derek McInnes’ side were on course to take a two-goal lead to Rovaniemi until RoPS got the away goal they craved in the dying seconds to give them hope of shocking Aberdeen.
McLennan admits the loss of the goal stung but says confidence for tonight’s Europa League first qualifying round second leg has not been dented.
He said: “It was a kick in the teeth conceding a last-minute goal with the last kick of the game but the way we played we’re confident we can get a result over here.
“The boys looked fit throughout the game so I don’t think fitness was a problem.
“It was a lack of concentration in the final seconds but hopefully we have learned from our mistake and will put it right.”
RoPS struggled to contain Aberdeen’s pacy forward line in last week’s first leg with the Dons wide men Jon Gallagher, Scott Wright, Niall McGinn and Ryan Hedges causing the Finns no end of problems during an impressive 90 minutes.
Former Caley Thistle and Ross County goalkeeper Antonio Reguero made several fine saves to keep RoPS in the tie and manager Pasi Tuutti is confident his side will be a far tougher proposition in front of their own fans tonight.
But McLennan says the Dons are ready as they bid to reach the second round.
He said: “They are a good team but we knew they were. The gaffer showed us what we needed to look out for but I think as long as we concentrate on our game we’ll get the result.
“We looked strong throughout the game and if we get anywhere near the performance level we showed last week we will win the game.”
This year’s campaign is Aberdeen’s sixth in a row under McInnes but the Dons are bidding to reach the group stages for the first time in their manager’s reign.
They have yet to reach the play-off round in their five previous attempts but McLennan, who came off the bench to make his European debut for the club last week, believes this squad are capable of reaching the group stage.
But the 19-year-old is adamant no one at Pittodrie is looking any further than tonight’s game and the immediate task of qualifying for the second round.
He said: “It would be massive to get to the group stages and it definitely has to be the aim for the club. As players we’ve had a taste of Europe for a few years and we want to kick on now and see how far we can get.
“But first things first, it’s all about this game. We know they are a good team and this was not going to be an easy tie to get through but we’re ready.
“The astroturf is not a concern. We’re used to playing on the surface in Scotland and we’ve had a training session so we’ll be fine.”
McLennan, like fellow winger Niall McGinn, has worked hard to get himself fit for the European campaign after undergoing knee surgery at the end of last season.
McGinn capped his return to first-team action with the opening goal in the 2-1 win last week and McLennan is eager to play his part after regaining full fitness.
Competition for places in McInnes’ starting line-up has increased dramatically following the arrival of attacking players Gallagher, Hedges and Curtis Main. But McLennan believes the fight for a first-team place will bring out the best in the team.
He said: “I’ve had a few injury niggles during pre-season but I’m at 100% now and looking forward to playing my part.
“There’s a lot of competition for places in the starting 11, but there always is at this club.
“It’s such a high standard here and we’re all going to be fighting for a place week in, week out.
“I was with the squad in Burnley last year and was in Luxembourg a couple of years ago.
“I’ve been in and around the squad when we’ve been away so I’m used to it now.
“Getting on the pitch is the aim now.
“Last week was my first taste of Europe and hopefully there is more to come.”