Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is confident midfielder Kenny McLean will rise to the challenge of facing his former club St Mirren at Pittodrie on Saturday.
The 23-year-old moved to Pittodrie on transfer deadline day last month for £300,000, but will be trying to add to his former side’s relegation woes when they head north.
McLean spent five years with the Paisley side and made more than 150 appearances for the Buddies, who are only three points better off than bottom side Ross County.
But McInnes is confident the midfielder will put sentiment to one side and do his utmost to ensure the Dons extend their unbeaten run to 13 matches.
He said: “That happens in football, players come up against their previous teams from time to time.
“The build-up might feel a little bit different for Kenny this week, but once the game starts he will be absolutely fine.
“It was not so long ago he was in a St Mirren strip and he still has a lot of affection for the club.
“But his job and focus is for us now and once the game starts that will be obvious.”
The midfielder netted a late equaliser for St Mirren from the penalty spot when they drew 2-2 at Pittodrie in September.
And McInnes warned the Dons will have to be at their best if they want to avoid a similar outcome this weekend.
The Aberdeen manager said: “Our performance that night was excellent, but we didn’t get the result we wanted.
“That is a reminder that no matter how dominant we are, we have to make sure we take our chances and are fully focused.
“The points are every bit as important to St Mirren as they are for us.
“They are playing for their lives.
“They will come and try to make things difficult.
“Although they didn’t get the result they wanted on Saturday against Inverness, their recent form has been better than their league position suggests.
“We have to make sure our level of performance is good.”
Midfielder Jonny Hayes remains a doubt for the match after suffering a hamstring injury during Sunday’s 3-0 win at Hamilton Accies.