Aberdeen winger Gary Mackay-Steven insists Thursday’s first leg 1-1 draw with Burnley has done nothing to quell his optimism the Dons can conquer the English Premier League side to reach the Europa League third qualiying round.
Derek McInnes’ men produced an excellent display at Pittodrie against Sean Dyche’s men, who finished seventh in the English top-flight last season, with the Reds leading for much of the game through Mackay-Steven’s penalty.
Sam Vokes’ late equaliser gave the Clarets a vital away goal however, meaning the Dons must find the net in Thursday’s second leg at Turf Moor.
Asked if he feels if Aberdeen can win the return leg, he said: “For sure, why not?
“It will be tough but we proved we can score and create chances against them and that is what we need to do again. There is every chance for us.
“They are a good team and are good on the ball but there are a lot of good teams up here as well.
“We didn’t feel inferior to them. We gave them respect like we do every team but once we play football we know we can cause most team problems.
“We know we are a good side when we pull for each other and play to our strengths, we just wanted to show that.
“It was frustrating to lose the goal but they are a good side.
“They finished seventh in the Premier League and are a good team, but for large spells we carried out our game plan well and we will have to go down there and show the same confidence next week. It is only half-time – we need to go down there and to attack and score a goal but we are looking for it.”
Despite taking encouragement from Aberdeen’s display against a team with vastly superior resources, Mackay-Steven feels there is still room for improvement from his side.
The 27-year-old added: “We wanted to get in their faces and fight for every ball. We also wanted to show our quality as well and I thought we could have done a bit better in a couple of instances when we attacked.
“There were also a lot of pleasing aspects and we need to look at where we have done well and where we can improve on. We will be ready to go again.”
Mackay-Steven’s spot-kick saw him get off the mark in his first competitive match of the season, and the former Dundee United player says he is keen to assume penalty duties following the departures of Adam Rooney and Kenny McLean this summer.
He added: “I wasn’t really nervous at all. Since Rooney has gone, he was the penalty taker, it has been really open. I got the ball first. I wanted to take it and I was confident, I was pleased to score.
“I would take the next one, definitely. It was kind of up in the air and we hadn’t really discussed who would take the penalties.
“There are a lot of boys confident and willing to step up but I just wanted it. I have made a claim so hopefully I will remain on them.
“Confidence is a massive thing. It is the start of the season and I feel good and I have got a good pre-season under my belt which is important. I am just raring to go.”