A taste of what’s to come – Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass confirmed he aims to deliver in every game the attacking intensity and ruthlessness that overwhelmed BK Hacken.
The emphatic defeat of the Swedes is the blueprint for what Glass wants his new-look side to produce to entertain the Red Army every week.
Exciting attacking play, intensity, ruthlessness in front of goal, slick passing and movement, sharp link-up play, a screamer from Lewis Ferguson, a debut goal for Christian Ramirez and a rising teenage star excelling.
The Aberdeen squad rebuilt by Glass during the summer transfer window delivered it all – and he insists this is only the start.
Glass said: “That is what we are hoping to reproduce on a weekly basis.
“I am not crazy enough to say we will score five goals every game, although I would love to.
“We have to build on what we produced against BK Hacken.
“We will try to do the right things and try to play like that.
“However we will come up against opponents who don’t open up as much as Hacken and don’t come forward as much.
“It is up to us to do what it takes in every game.”
BK Hacken stunned by new-look Dons
During the build up to the Uefa Europa Conference League tie Glass had kept BK Hacken in the dark as to his restructured squad.
Friendlies were played behind closed doors at Cormack Park, partly to retain a Covid-19 bio-secure bubble, and also to keep BK Hacken boss Per-Mathias Hogmo guessing.
A by-product was that the Aberdeen supporters did not get a glimpse of Glass’ squad until the second qualifying round first leg tie at Pittodrie.
It was worth the wait for the 5,665 supporters back inside the stadium after being locked out for almost 18 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Aberdeen were a revelation and their destruction of a Swedish top flight side that arrived in the Granite City on a four game winning steak set an early marker for the season.
Glass hails the strength of his squad
Last season Glass inherited a side that were woefully underperforming in front of goal and lacked an attacking spark and ruthlessness.
During the summer he moved to fix that problem with the signing of strikers Christian Ramirez and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas who both impressed against BK Hacken and look on course to forge a strong understanding and partnership.
The new attacking threat of the Dons was not restricted to Ramirez, Emmanuel-Thomas and Welsh international Ryan Hedges.
The midfield looked dangerous going forward and the full-backs were also attacking threats – particularly the excellent Calvin Ramsay, just 17-years-old and making his European debut.
The teen displayed a maturity way beyond his years.
Glass is confident such is the depth of quality within his squad he could have fielded the 10 substitutes that didn’t make the starting XI and still get a result.
He said: “If you start singling players out then I could go through the whole team.
“I was delighted with everyone’s performance.
“You also have the 10 that awere sitting at the side and are actually pushing this group as well.
“Those 10 could have come in and played as well and we would have been pretty dangerous.
“We have a really strong squad and they are all pushing one another.
“Without singling anyone out I am delighted with everyone’s performance.”
Well worth the wait for Aberdeen fans
In the immediate aftermath of the emphatic 5-1 win Glass vowed to go on the attack in the return leg in Gothenburg.
Regardless of the sizeable advantage he will not change his attacking philosophy.
We have waited a while to say this…
🔴 Good Morning Red Army! 🔴
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) July 23, 2021
It is an attacking, forward thinking approach he hopes will bring supporters back in force when lockdown restrictions ease to allow even larger crowds.
He said: “There were nearly 6,000 fans and I am looking forward to attracting more back.
“Hopefully those supporters when we are allowed more will tell people to come along.
“It is however, up to us to keep producing on the pitch.”
Finally an attack with edge – and goals
Having been appointed manager on March 23, Glass oversaw the post-split Premiership fixtures and Scottish Cup campaign.
The squad he took over ultimately matched the worst ever league attacking return in the club’s history with just 34 goals from 38 Premiership games.
A major restructure of a misfiring attack was required in the summer.
That no senior strikers were on deals beyond the summer allowed the leeway for a shake up and he signed Ramirez from Houston Dynamo and secured former Livingston striker Emmanuel-Thomas.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) July 22, 2021
Glass accepts he, the new strikers and the team were under pressure to deliver goals.
He said: “I came into the game knowing that if it was slow and stale what would get aimed at us.
“It is all down to the players.
“You can put them into positions, you can make demands of them, you can try to show them where you want them and what it takes.
“But they are the ones that have to execute it and they did that.
“To me that is the over-riding factor – that the players produced.”