Niall McGinn’s Aberdeen tenure ensures he has seen the highs and lows during his two spells at Pittodrie.
The Northern Ireland international has been the club’s leading goalscorer in a struggling side which finished in the bottom half of the table under Craig Brown to playing in Europe every season, winning a League Cup, and challenging near the top of the table under Derek McInnes.
There are no prizes for guessing which era has been more enjoyable.
He said: “In my first season here we finished eighth.
“It was a great season for me, but team-wise there weren’t many fans coming to games.
“But, once the manager came in, it has been constant European football and I think we have been spoiled in recent years.
“We have constantly got into semi-finals and finals, constantly up there competing at the top end of the table.
“When you are doing well you always strive to be better.
“It’s always difficult for a manager, especially when he loses important players.
“The recruitment has been brilliant over the years, when talented players leave the manager has been able to plan and bring people in.”
McGinn’s ability to take a more pragmatic view at a time when many fans have been venting their frustration at manager McInnes gives him a different perspective from many outside the club.
No player at Pittodrie has been able to ignore the speculation about McInnes’ future, but McGinn believes it is the players who can help turn both their boss’ fortunes around and also that of a team which finds itself five points behind third-placed Hibernian.
He said: “As a player you go through different situations, but you need to knuckle down.
“We can’t affect what’s going on between the manager and the board.
“They have come out and gave him a vote of confidence, that’s pleasing for us as a group of players.
“We know how hard he works, the level of detail he goes into on the opposition.
“Every team has blips and we have had them before in his time here, but we have always bounced back.
“It’s us as a group of players, it’s not just shouldering it on the manager, we have to give a better account of ourselves.
“I know how frustrating it is for the fans and it’s the same for us as a group.
“There is no better feeling than getting three points on a Saturday, so hopefully we can get back to that.”
Aberdeen’s struggle in recent week mirrors that of McGinn’s campaign at Pittodrie.
Historically a first-team regular McGinn, who will be 34 this summer, has found himself on the bench for the majority of the season, but he believes he can still step up and play a leading role in the club’s time of need, starting with the game against St Mirren at Pittodrie today.
He said: “The manager and I have a good relationship and we have spoken about it.
“There has been times here I haven’t played in certain games and I have always understood that.
“This season has been a bit different but we have discussed it and it’s down to me.
“It has been a frustrating season not playing as much but I am the kind of person that if someone comes in then I’m supportive.
“Scotty Wright and Ryan Hedges both played very well this season, so you can’t complain too much.
“I have always kept working hard behind the scenes and that has shown by being able to play for the Northern Ireland team when I go away.
“I just hope that I get the chance to play between now and the end of the season.
“I have always chipped in with goals and assists over the years at Aberdeen, so it has been frustrating to see the team not scoring when you feel you can help.
“Hopefully I can get a run out now and help.
“It was good last weekend to play 30 minutes, because, when it’s 10 or 15 minutes, here and there it’s hard to make an impact.
“We need to get back to winning ways as soon as we can.”