Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has urged his players to heed the warning they cannot afford any lapse in concentration as they prepare for their Europa League first qualifying round second leg in Finland.
RoPS substitute Tommi Jantti came off the bench to score a dramatic away goal in the final seconds to halve the deficit and give his side hope of overturning the 2-1 defeat in tomorrow’s second leg.
The loss of a late goal stung the Dons but McInnes hopes his players use their disappointment as a valuable lesson.
He said: “For long spells we were very assured with our work but it just shows you, it was a wee reminder you are never there until the final whistle blows and we have to heed that warning for games in the future.
“We’ve just got to make sure we don’t dwell on the goal we lost in the final seconds as there was a lot to be happy about heading into next week.
“We should go there next week with confidence.”
Jantti’s strike sucked the atmosphere out of Pittodrie in an instant and took the shine off what was a very encouraging display from McInnes’ side and the Dons boss insists the positives far outweigh the negatives heading into the second leg.
He said: “Losing the goal at the end soured the mood a bit when the players should have come off to a standing ovation but we showed glimpses of what we’re aiming to bring. We’ve clearly got work to do but the performance was good and we should be encouraged by our level of performance.
“Up until the last 30 seconds it was a performance to be really proud of. The level of performance at this stage of the season was fantastic and we certainly created numerous opportunities. We should have scored four, five or six goals.
“I hope having 90 minutes of competitive action in the legs will pay dividends in Finland as we are going to have to produce another performance.”
One player who will be key in Finland is on-loan Atlanta United attacker Jon Gallagher. The utility player has shown his versatility by playing in wide and central attacking areas and can also play at full back.
McInnes is pleased with the 23 year-old’s promising start to his career at Pittodrie.
He said: “Jon has come in sharper and more game ready than the others because he only had five or six days off from training and playing.
“He is more up to speed and that has allowed him to bring good performances.
“The three games we have played him, wide left and right, right-back and attacking midfield.His flexibility has real appeal but his energy in training and in the games since he has come has been great and he has had a good three or four weeks with us.
“We have real pace in the squad and a bit of quality we were looking for from this squad as it comes together.”