Derek McInnes insists his side will be stronger for their second-round qualifying trip to Georgia this week after reaping the rewards of two testing matches against RoPS, of Finland, in the Europa League.
The Dons secured a trip to Chikhura Sachkhere thanks to a 4-2 aggregate win against the Finnish club.
McInnes expects the game against the Georgians, which will be played in a sweltering Tbilisi, to be a step-up in terms of quality but expects his players to be better prepared after two competitive games to start their campaign.
He said: “I’m really pleased. There have been lots of positives and I’m finding out a lot about my team as we go along.
“It’s a new squad and we’re trying to find our feet in terms of fitness and familiarity. For such a young team, you look at Jon Gallagher, Ryan Hedges, Sam Cosgrove and Dean Campbell, young boys who wouldn’t have been in that situation before.
“But when we needed good decision making they made it.
“We’ll be stronger this week with Craig Bryson and Funso Ojo available and with another week’s fitness.
“It’s good to see that while we’re not at our best we can still put in a performance to win a game like we did against Rovaniemi. McGinn wasn’t really fit to play but we took a chance to offset that inexperience in the team as we felt his experience, composure and guile would be required.
“Credit to Niall because he has just had ankle surgery, is playing on an astroturf pitch and without him we wouldn’t have been as comfortable as we were.”
The Dons will discover their potential third-round opponents when the draw is made today but McInnes is keeping his focus firmly on the Georgians.
He said: “I’m reluctant right now to look too far ahead. We have watched both of Sachkhere’s games against Fola Esch. We had more information on the Georgians than Fola Esch due to the availability of their games.
“It will be a difficult game, not just logistically, and clearly we will have high temperatures to deal with but it’s a great game to look forward to.
“Mikey Devlin tore his hamstring on Tuesday which was a real blow for us. It looks as if he will be out for two or three games at least, while Greg Leigh is feeling his ankle.
“Greg might not make the first leg but hopefully Ojo and Bryson will be available.”