Derek McInnes insists the summer rebuilding job at Aberdeen does not faze him – because he does it every year.
This summer is no different at Pittodrie in that key players are set to depart and McInnes, pictured, has the job of reshaping the team again.
Graeme Shinnie heads to Derby County and Gary Mackay-Steven also looks to be on his way out. Five loan players are returning to their parent clubs, adding to the scale of the task at hand.
But having lost the likes of Ryan Jack, Jonny Hayes, Kenny McLean and Ryan Christie in
recent seasons, raiding the transfer market to ensure the Dons can compete at the top end of the Premiership once again is familiar ground for McInnes.
He said: “It’s my job to build a squad that is ready for Europe, if Celtic win the cup, and ready for next season anyway. The rebuilding job after the Rogic final (in 2017), when he scores in injury time and five players leave me. All starters.
“Last season, it was the same, another four or five, Christie, McLean, O’Connor – important players for us. So this isn’t new to me. Everyone is saying this is my biggest rebuilding. I understand that because we’re losing a big character in Shinnie.
“But the rebuild is something we do, something we have to deal with here. We go again.”
The Dons have confirmed they are heading back to Cork this summer to prepare for the new campaign.
Aberdeen will be based at Fota Island in June with a friendly against Welsh club Connah’s Quay Nomads, scheduled for Saturday, June 29 with a 2pm kick-off.
Then Dons will then travel to Balmoor to face League 2 champions Peterhead in a friendly on Wednesday, July 3 with the game kicking off at 7.45pm.
Paul Sheerin’s young Dons will also be in action in July with matches scheduled at Elgin City on July 4, Deveronvale on July 9, Inverurie Locos on July 16, Keith on July 20 and Huntly on July 23.