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Craig Bryson reckons Aberdeen have enough quality to see off Europa League opponents RoPS

Craig Bryson arrived from Derby County last summer
Craig Bryson arrived from Derby County last summer

Aberdeen midfielder Craig Bryson knows next to nothing about RoPS Rovaniemi but he is confident his side has enough quality to overcome the challenge of the Finnish club in the first qualifying round of the Europa League.

The Dons face the Finnish club at Pittodrie in the first leg on Thursday and Bryson, who hopes to have recovered from an ankle injury in time to make his debut for the club, is relishing the chance to play in Europe.

He said: “It’ll be good, I’m just really looking forward to the experience of playing in Europe. That’s what it’s all about.

“If I’m being completely honest, I’d never even heard of the team. I don’t know anything about them and don’t know what standard they’re going to be like but if we play how we can then I don’t see any reason why we can’t beat them.

“I’m more than happy to have as many different experiences as I can in my career. I think it only bodes well for after your career as well.

“When you’re playing in the English Championship you have no chance of playing in any European competition. Hopefully we can do well in Europe and get in there again next season.”

Former Kilmarnock midfielder Bryson will face a former team-mate from his time at Rugby Park if he does feature in defender Mo Sissoko.

Bryson said: “I didn’t realise he was there as we never really kept in touch. I thought he did well at Killie and he was a nice guy so it’ll be nice to catch up with him and see how he’s getting on and how he’s enjoying it.

“When you’re in a changing room with 20 or 30 players, it’s hard to keep in touch or stay close with everybody so you have to, not pick or choose, but be close to only some players.

“I enjoyed playing alongside him at Kilmarnock and playing with him but even in the changing room he was a nice guy to get along with and really bonded with the squad.”

Craig Bryson joined from Derby County in the summer.

Another player hoping to be involved against RoPS is Curtis Main. The former Motherwell attacker opened his account for the club when he scored the penalty in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Caley Thistle in Elgin and Dons boss Derek McInnes is pleased with how his new addition is settling in.

He said: “He’s got a bit of size which can occupy defenders. The ball isn’t going to come straight back and defenders know they’re going to be in a game. His link up play is good and on another day he could have scored three or four goals.

“That bit of sharpness is always the last part to come but I was pleased with his performance against Inverness. He missed a few days training so the intention was to get him about 80 minutes. He’ll feel good about himself as he’s got his first goa and he showed enough threat to get more.

“I don’t mind my strikers missing chances. You’ve got to get chances to score goals so long as he keeps putting himself in there I’m sure he’ll get a decent return for us.”

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