Teenage winger Scott Wright today called for the chance to make an explosive Dons start to shoot down Apollon Limassol in Cyprus.
The 19-year-old is now back to full fitness after missing the start of the Euro campaign with a hamstring injury.
Wright is fit and determined to grab his chance if given the nod by boss Derek McInnes for the Europa League third qualifying round second leg.
Aberdonian Wright’s only start last season was sensational – he grabbed a hat-trick in the 6-0 win over Partick Thistle in the final Premiership game of the season.
Now in the heat of Larnaca, with the mercury set to hit 40 degrees, Wright is hoping for a first Euro start and aims to make it just as memorable.
He said: “I am ready to start if called upon as I have been working closely with the physios.
“If I get that chance it is all about taking it – just as I did last season against Partick Thistle.
“I couldn’t have dreamed that game against Partick going any better.
“My mind-set is that I am ready to start and focused on helping us get through.”
The Dons spent a short time at the pitch in Larnaca last night at around 8pm, the kick-off time tonight.
As we talked at the edge of the AEK Arena’s pitch, it was still uncomfortably hot at 35 degrees.
The same is predicted tonight, with humidity in excess of 50%.
Wright said: “We have played in the Europa League in these conditions before and we know we are going to have to deal with the heat.
“At about 15 minutes in we will become acclimatised to it and there could also be water breaks which would help.
“Some of our best performances have come away from home in the Europa League against NK Siroki Brijeg in Bosnia two weeks ago and then Rijeka.”
Aberdeen hold the upper hand having won 2-1 in the opening leg at Pittodrie last week.
Around 750 Dons fans will be in the arena tonight among the sell-out 7,400 crowd to cheer on the bid to reach the play-offs for the first time under boss Derek McInnes
Teen Wright, who turns 20 on Tuesday, said: “It would be a massive thing for the club if we can get through to the play-offs as we would then be only two games away from the groups.
“If we could reach the groups that would be incredible but we have to focus on the game in Cyprus first and hopefully get the win.
“The boys are confident going into the game and we are so focused on trying to get through to the next round. That is the most important thing.”
Dons boss Derek McInnes has high hopes for the creativity, pace and directness of Wright this season – especially with wingers Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn having exited the club
Wright was ruled out of the previous round against NK Siroki Brijeg, which the Reds won 3-1 on aggregate, having sustained a hamstring injury on international duty with the Scotland Under-20s at the Toulon Tournament in France.
He came on as a second- half substitute in the 2-1 win over Apollon Limassol for his first appearance this season.
“It was frustrating not to be fit for the opening Euro games but I wouldn’t have turned down the opportunity to go to Toulon,” he said.
“If I had the chance I would go again because it was a really prestigious tournament.
“The manager and myself talked deeply about it and whether I should go or not with the focus going on early for the European season.
“We both thought it was a great opportunity for me to go and it was just unfortunate the way things panned out.
“It was a hamstring injury and we didn’t think it was as bad as it was but I am back now and ready to go.
“It was a difficult time to try to manage it as everyone was either away on holiday or coming back from holiday.
“Now it is all good because I am back and fully fit after getting that match sharpness back.”
Aberdeen have crashed out of the Europa League at this third qualifying round stage for the last three years.
They exited to Maribor last season, Kazakhstan’s Kairat Almaty in 2015 and Real Sociedad of Spain the previous year.
Wright came on as a substitute in the 1-0 second leg loss to Maribor in Slovenia last season, as the Reds crashed out 2-1 on aggregate.
Aberdeen felt aggrieved at refereeing decisions in that clash, with Jayden Stockley red carded.
Wright insists valuable lessons have been learned, and the Reds will cope and progress regardless of what they experience in the “furnace” tonight.
He said: “Maribor was a very tough one to take with the way things went.
“However, we will try to take positives from that and use it for this season.
“We have reached the third round of the Europa League in the last three years and things just haven’t gone our way.
“This season it is not going to be a hard luck story.”