Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has no fears about handing new signing Funso Ojo his Europa League debut in the Georgian heat.
The 27 year-old Belgian is in line to make his first appearance for the Dons in Thursday’s second qualifying round first leg tie against Chikhura Sachkhere in Tbilisi.
McInnes arranged for his new arrival’s fitness to be fast-tracked last week back in Aberdeen while he guided his team to a 4-2 aggregate win against RoPS in Finland and is confident the former Scunthorpe United midfielder is ready for action.
He said: “We have been accelerated his work.
“He was doing double sessions back in Aberdeen when we were in Finland to get ready for this week.
“I have been very pleased with him.”
Ojo’s arrival at Pittodrie has been a contentious one as far as Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom is concerned with the Hibs boss hinting money was the deciding factor in the player opting for the Dons instead of a switch to Easter Road.
McInnes, however, insists that is not the case.
He said: “Funso joined us for football reasons, it wasn’t about money.
“There were two clubs who were really keen on him and the boy made the right decision to speak to both clubs.
“Once we spoke to him and spent a few hours with him on Friday he asked for a couple of hours to consider both options.
“Thankfully, he phoned me and he chose us. He is our player now and we are looking forward to working with him.”
Ojo is the eighth new arrival at Pittodrie this summer and his capture highlights Aberdeen’s ability to compete and beat other clubs to signing players.
McInnes is pleased with his recruitment this summer but says the Dons have missed out on targets on several occasions too.
He said: “We feel the evidence is there over the last six years of players who have come to Aberdeen and bettered their careers.
“The fact we have been most competitive, outwith Celtic, and we can show that there are opportunities to come and get good experiences, playing in European football and cup finals.
“I think all those things are positives when players have a decision to make.
“We can be competitive in Scotland and outside of the Old Firm in terms of wages.
“Other teams have strengths. Look at the Edinburgh clubs with their training facilities and great fan bases and they can also be competitive financially.
“We don’t expect to get things all our own way and we don’t.
“There is a lot we don’t get and we try to move on quickly because you don’t want to dwell on lost fights and battles, although it is nice when players consider all their options and then decide to come to Aberdeen.”