Winger Ryan Hedges has vowed to shoot down Premiership defences after using the Covid-19 lockdown for self-assessment.
The Welsh international used the lockdown to isolate areas of his game he can improve on.
After netting four times last season, one area was delivering more goals.
Hedges is in line to face Rangers in the Premiership curtain-opener at Pittodrie tomorrow (12.30pm).
He made an immediate impact last season with a goal in the league opener, a 3-2 defeat of Hearts. And the 25-year-old hopes to start this campaign with a bang again.
“As an attacking player I need to add more goals to my game,” he said.
“Last season I was chipping in and had quite a few goals and assists up until Christmas. Then not playing hindered that. If I can get more consistency to my game that is obviously going to help me stay in the team.
“We had three months away and in that time you have to look at yourself as a person. You look to see what you can do better.
“What your strengths and weaknesses are and how you can improve that.”
That self-improvement is not only restricted to personal targets as Hedges also wants Aberdeen to improve on recent league standings.
The Dons have finished fourth in the last two campaigns, albeit the 2019-20 season was cut short.
He said: “As a group, as a collective, we have looked to see where we can do better. Hopefully this season we can push on and improve the fourth position we finished last time.”
Last season Hedges made an impressive start to his Dons career in the first half of the campaign.
However, he had just one start after the winter shutdown, a 1-0 defeat to St Johnstone.
Now as the new season arrives he is determined to force his way into the starting line-up with the dream still alive of forcing his way into the Welsh squad for next summer’s Euro finals.
Hedges has featured in the bounce games this summer in preparation for the new season – an unfortunate side effect of which have been injuries to
prolific scorer Sam Cosgrove and Scotland international defender Mikey Devlin.
Striker Cosgrove is out for up to four months with a knee injury suffered in the 1-1 friendly draw with Hibs at the weekend.
Centre-back Devlin is sidelined until September with a hamstring injury sustained in the 2-2 friendly draw with Ross County.
However, Hedges insists facing top-flight opposition has been vital in preparing to kick-
off against Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.
He said: “It was huge to get those bounce games. Going into the first one against Ross County as a team we didn’t know what to expect. However, the intensity and pace in the game was there.
“It didn’t really feel like it was a training game as that could have been Saturday at 3 o’clock and no one would really have known the difference.
“It was good to get the minutes and see what it would be like without a crowd.It was a bit of a taster for the start of the season.”
Aberdeen had initially hoped to begin the phased return of supporters to Pittodrie in October.
However, a limited number of fans could be allowed to return to stadiums with social distancing in place on September 14 after the latest briefing by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The First Minister also indicated that some test events may take place before then with Scottish Government agreement, to allow protocols to be tested.
That would mean that if Aberdeen reach the second qualifying round of the Europa League and are drawn at home in the one-legged round, the game on September 17 could see fans back at Pittodrie.
Aberdeen’s first league match after that landmark date is a home clash with Motherwell on September 19.