Former Aberdeen forward Adam Rooney sees no reason why the Dons can’t triumph in Rijeka again.
The Irishman was part of the Dons team that secured a 3-0 win against HNK Rijeka four years ago with the Dons progressing 5-2 on aggregate after drawing 2-2 at home in the second leg.
After overcoming Georgian side Chikhura Sachkhere with a 5-0 win on Thursday, the Reds will head back to Rijeka in the third qualifying round of the Europa League with the first leg taking place in Croatia on Thursday.
Rooney, who moved from the Dons to Salford City last summer, is confident the Dons can take a step closer to the group stages by overcoming the Croats.
He said: “It’s a very difficult game but they’re more than capable of winning these big games in Europe.
“I remember going there when they were undefeated at home for 30 odd games. They’d never been beaten at home in Europe and all these stats were flying around.
“Andy Considine scored a header early on, Kenny McLean scored and then Peter scored a diving header. I don’t think Pete had ever scored a header before that.
“It was a lovely stadium with the backdrop over the big cliff. I remember it being roasting and I don’t think many people gave us a chance.
“It was similar to the Groningen game the year before when people didn’t expect us to do anything.
“To come away with that scoreline was brilliant. It was some atmosphere afterwards.”
Rooney believes the expectations at Aberdeen have risen greatly during Derek McInnes’ six years at Pittodrie and feels progress in Europe can be the next step.
He said: “The expectation levels have shot through the roof from where they were from 2012-13 to the following season when we won the League Cup.
“The fanbase really kicked on and a lot of young lads started to watch the games.
“We had a great run and ran Celtic close one season, finishing second.
“Part of being successful and getting to cup finals and getting into Europe is that you have to deal with that. Derek manages that well within the group and what he says to the media is probably different.
“Everyone finds it easier going to a game that they’re expected to lose than one you’re expected to win.
“We found that to be the case when we were expected to run over the top of every team because the bookies made us favourites but it’s not that simple.”