Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes believes Andy Considine is getting better with age as the defender prepares to make his landmark appearance for the club this weekend.
The 32-year-old will play his 500th game for the Dons in Sunday’s Premiership match at St Johnstone and in doing so will become only the sixth player in the club’s history to reach the milestone.
He is unlikely to beat club legend Willie Miller’s 797 games or second placed Alex McLeish, who made 692 appearances for the club but Considine has three more club legends in his sights in the shape of Jim Leighton (535), Stewart McKimmie (561) and Bobby Clark (594).
McInnes sees no reason why his own Mr Reliable will not add substantially to his already impressive tally.
He said: “He’s been a brilliant servant and I don’t see any reason why he can’t keep going on for many years to come.
“We feel he is somebody who is normally a first pick for me, regardless of who we’re playing, regardless of whether we play in a back three or a back four or whether he is at centre-back or left-back.
“He’s always one we think we can get a decent level of performance from.
“His loyalty to the club is unquestionable and his love for the club is brilliant.
“He has enjoyed the last few years of his career. He’s a fit boy, he’s really professional and he quietly gives the rest of his team-mates that confidence through his performances.”
McInnes admits to have underappreciated Considine’s qualities until getting the chance to work with the player when he arrived at Pittodrie in 2013.
He said: “I think he’s got better with age. I can only really speak of my time working with him.
“I looked at him when I played against him as manager of St Johnstone and I played against him myself when he was a youngster, and I probably didn’t really appreciate how good he was until I got a chance to work with him.
“I think he’s responded to the standards being raised here within the club and the standard of player being raised. He’s desperate to stay involved.
“You see his performances week in, week out, season after season, his performances have been of such a high quality.”
The Aberdeen manager has nothing but praise for his player, who has become a firm favourite of the Red Army due to his committed displays during his career and hopes Considine can add to his League Cup winners medal before calling time on his career.
McInnes said: “It’s great that the supporters recognise that because normally a lot of the times, these guys don’t get the recognition other than from their manager and their team-mates.
“We have had some brilliant players over the years at this club – players who are well decorated, players who have been loyal servants.
“I personally would want Andy to have more medals to show by the time that he does hang his boots up.
“In terms of being a loyal servant, he deserves to be in that elite group of players.”