After five successive seasons of Euro qualification, defender Dom Ball insists Aberdeen are a club that should be in the Europa League.
And Ball has vowed to deliver continental action this term to ensure he is not part of a team remembered for letting that long European run finally end.
Aberdeen hold the advantage in the race for a third-placed Premiership finish which brings an automatic Euro spot, as they lead Kilmarnock by three points.
Next up for the Dons is a home clash against league leaders Celtic who need just a point at Pittodrie on Saturday to secure the Premiership crown.
Aberdeen are determined there will be no title party at Pittodrie.
Ball said: “Europe is massive and it is where we should be.
“Europe is where we have been for the last five years and this year we do not want to be the team who don’t get the club to Europe.
“Especially with the quality of players we have here. When you also see the character of the players and some of the results we have had this season we need to be in Europe.
“Playing in Europe is great and the ties against Burnley were some of my favourite games of the season.
“When we drove up to the stadium (Turf Moor) and saw all our supporters in the cricket ground beside that, it shows just how much Europe means to them.”
European qualification could still be secured via fourth place – but only if Celtic defeat Hearts in the Scottish Cup final.
Should Aberdeen require that route it would be a nervous wait with their fate outwith their own control.
Ball wants a berth in the first qualifying round which kicks off on Thursday July 11 secured under their own steam by finishing third.
Last season the Dons sealed a fourth successive runners-up finish with a 1-0 defeat of champions Celtic on the final game of the season.
Ball does not want their Euro fate to go down to the wire in the last game at Hibs on May 19.
He said: “I would prefer if it didn’t go to the last game of the season and we have secured that European spot before going away to Hibs.
“Last year it went down to that final game when we had to go and beat Celtic away and we managed to do that. We will have to wait and see if it goes down to that final game this time.”
Ball’s loan deal expires at the end of the season but his contract with Rotherham also runs out. Set to become a free agent this summer boss Derek McInnes has opened talks on a potential permanent Pittodrie deal.
Midfielder Ball has operated in the right-back role in recent months following the absence of Shay Logan who was ruled out following ankle surgery.
Logan is in contention to return to action this weekend.
Ball is set to face Celtic on Saturday for the first time since the 3-0 Scottish Cup semi-final when he was sent off for a second yellow card following a sickening accidental collision with former Dons team-mate Ryan Christie.
His dismissal was harsh as the 23-year-old was initially booked for a foul on Jonny Hayes.
The second caution came when Ball’s head collided with the side of good friend Christie’s face.
Christie had stayed with Ball in the Granite City last season while on loan from Celtic.
Scotland cap Christie suffered multiple facial fractures and subsequently underwent surgery.
He is out for the rest of the season.
Aberdeen have faced Celtic five times this season and have yet to win. A 0-0 draw at Parkhead in the Premiership is the sole return.
To deny Celtic claiming the title the Dons must end that run.
Ball accepts every game in the top six will be tough.
But it is a challenge he embraces.
He said: “We face tough opponents in the post-split but I enjoy the challenge. As a team we embrace that.
“Going into the five post-split games with a win at Kilmarnock was massive for us as we moved ahead of them in the league.
“We have to keep that spot.”