Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass is confident the work put in during difficult circumstances at the end of last season will pay off in the new campaign.
The Dons’ lack of firepower proved telling as they came up short in their attempt to catch Hibernian in the race for third place.
But Glass believes the chance to work with the Aberdeen players in April and May, along with the additions made in the close season, have put his side in a healthy position heading into the new season.
He said: “I think we’ll be better for the time we had in April and May last year. It feels better, as a staff, that we had that time.
“We need to use everything we’ve got, the time we had last year, and show that it was worthwhile.
“It’s important that we show how these players we’ve added are going to strengthen our group, put them in positions to prove it.”
Glass believes the loss of Sam Cosgrove, the club’s leading goalscorer from the 2019-20 season, in January had a lasting impact on the Aberdeen team, but is confident the arrival of new attackers Christian Ramirez and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas will help re-establish the goal threat of the team.
He said: “There wasn’t a real belief that we had someone at the top end who was a pure finisher.
“Obviously big Sam Cosgrove left in the winter and there was a hole left by that.
“He was the guy who scored a good number of goals for the team.
“We believe we’ve added guys who can add to that. I think it was vital – and I think the club felt it last year.
“Team-wise, we were putting the team in position to score goals last season.”
Glass is giving nothing away at this stage on who his Aberdeen skipper will be, but has highlighted the leaders in his squad such as Andy Considine, Scott Brown, Declan Gallagher, Ramirez and Emmanuel-Thomas.
He believes there was a need for more leaders in the side.
He said: “I’d say it was something I wanted to add. I wouldn’t want to be critical of the group.
“But I was keen to add to what the group had.
“I deliberately targeted guys who are leaders. I felt it was important to add that to the guys already here.
“We have a number of leaders in that group and it is important the group knows that. We have taken the Celtic captain, the Motherwell captain and have Andy Considine, who has captained the team.
“Ramirez is a real leader, JET is a leader, Joe is a leader – there is a huge number of leaders within that group.”