Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson is ready to alter his approach as he prepares for a physically demanding trip to Tbilisi in the second qualifying round of the Europa League next week.
Temperatures are expected to be 35C in Georgia next week when the Dons face Chikhura Sachkhere in the first leg.
Ferguson knows little about the opposition but he has experience of playing in the searing heat and he hopes to use it to his advantage next week.
He said: “The conditions will obviously be a factor because the heat means you have to change the way you approach things. It’s the second round so it’s a tougher test again and you have to deal with the challenges put in front of you. I have played in some games abroad in hot countries before, I was in Bosnia once with the Scotland under-19s and it was roasting.
“You just have to manage the conditions and make sure you get as much fluids as you can. You can’t go all out and press for 90 minutes in that heat because it will take it out of you and you’ll pay the price.”
Ferguson played a key role in helping the Dons secure passage to the second qualifying round by snuffing out the threat of RoPS Rovaniemi’s attacking midfielder Lucas Lingman before breaking away to score the winning goal in the 2-1 win in Finland in injury time.
It was Ferguson’s second European goal for the club following his overhead kick at Burnley last year and while Thursday’s effort was a more routine effort he was pleased to see it count towards a win.
He said: “The gaffer was shouting at me to sit back and protect the back four because they were throwing everything at us.
“But I saw the opportunity to break away quickly and get past my man, so I wanted to take it.
“I was comfortable doing it because I knew Dean Campbell was there to protect us at the other end. I’m just glad I scored because if I hadn’t then the gaffer would probably have had something to say.
“There is no better feeling than scoring a goal, even though I should have scored first time. I tried to lift it over the keeper but I quickly found out you couldn’t do that on the pitch over there. So thankfully I got a second go at it and even though a few of the boys had run up and were screaming for me to pass, I had a sight of goal so I decided to take it.”
Ferguson’s goal was the perfect end to a testing two games with RoPS’ injury time away goal in the first leg followed by a goal after 75 seconds in Finland until Sam Cosgrove’s penalty helped Aberdeen regain the initiative before Ferguson’s winner at the end.
He said: “Losing the late goal at Pittodrie changed the tie a bit and then we were under pressure when they scored so early this week.
“That could set other teams back a bit but we didn’t panic, we were calm and we continued doing what the manager had told us to do.
“We are a pretty young side, with myself, Dean Campbell and Jon Gallagher in midfield, but we have the likes of Joe Lewis, Niall McGinn, Ash Taylor, Andy Considine, Shay Logan and Scott McKenna who have all been there before.
“And that helped us, nobody panicked. They threw everything at us in the second half but we dealt with everything well.”