Aberdeen assistant manager Tony Docherty has challenged the Dons players to create their own atmosphere as they prepare to face Rangers in the Premiership season opener next week behind closed doors.
The Dons played their first pre-season friendly at Pittodrie when St Johnstone made the trip north on Tuesday with the visitors claiming the spoils thanks to a 2-1 win.
The build-up and environment has become the new normal as clubs prepare to start the top-flight campaign in front of no spectators next weekend and Docherty believes it is vital the players adjust quickly to the prospect of playing in an empty stadium.
He said: “Everything is different, even in the dressing room you’ve only got the starting 10 and the goalkeeper.
“In terms of atmosphere that’s another lesson from Tuesday’s game that we need to generate our own atmosphere because we’re not going to get it from the fans.
“Roundabout the place it’s quieter but as players and staff we need to generate that ourselves and what better game to do it than Rangers at the start of the season.
“I think this game has put us in a better place to make sure we are ready.”
It will be October at the earliest before fans are allowed back into matches and even then social distancing measures will be required, reducing the capacity at Pittodrie to 7,500.
Docherty knows it is important the Dons ensure the silence is not a deterrent in the club’s attempt to start the season well.
He said: “We’re professionals and we need to adapt to that as best we can. We know the fans are watching on television or Red TV so we need to put on a performance for them.
“The game against St Johnstone there were positives and negatives, but all a useful exercise to make sure we’re ready for the first game of the season.
“It’s not about getting a result, it’s about getting performances out of players and maybe other not so good performances that give you a gauge of where you are in terms of the starting team and how you’ll be ready to take on Rangers and the games that come after.
“We’ve got Hibs here on Saturday and if we can carry the intensity from the last 20 minutes against St Johnstone into Saturday and then into the Rangers game then we’ll be in a good place.”
One player who has impressed during pre-season is Bruce Anderson with the young striker scoring against Saints to continue his impressive form during the build-up to the new campaign.
Docherty said: “It was a well-worked goal and we finished the game much the stronger team and wanted the game to continue and that’s good.
“A lot of the time in pre-season you want the game to go on longer because of fitness, but I thought our intensity was good.
“The goal was great with the build-up play and it’s five in four matches Bruce has scored including practice matches and he was bright when he came on.”