A new season brings a clean slate for new-look Aberdeen.
The Stephen Glass era got off to a dream start a week ago with a 5-1 demolition of BK Hacken of Sweden at Pittodrie in the Conference League.
Following the dearth of goals for the team last season the turnaround of having a four-goal is as surprising as it is welcome but it has put the Dons firmly in the ascendancy for the second leg in Gothenburg tonight (5.30pm).
For Ross McCrorie, the changes on and off the field in the last four months has injected fresh optimism at Pittodrie.
He said: “A lot of players have experienced changeovers at clubs and it’s part and parcel of football. The gaffer, Allan Russell, Henry Apaloo and Scott Brown have come in and been a breath of fresh air.
“They have implemented their ideas and I think you can see that in the first game. It paid off and hopefully that continues. I’ve enjoyed my time so far in pre-season and now we want the best start possible to the new season.
“We’ve brought in a lot of players. We’ve tweaked a few things in the system and it was credit to big Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Christian Ramirez up top the other night.”
The goal threat of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Christian Ramirez, who opened his account on his debut a week ago, has given the Dons a much needed threat in front of goal, a quality which was in short supply especially in the second half of the campaign.
McCrorie said: “I think it was clear for everyone that we had to score more goals. We had a nine game run where we didn’t score so I think it was clear for everyone that we had to improve on the attacking side of the game.
“We’ve obviously done that to start with in the first game but we have to keep that going throughout the season and hopefully we do.
“JET and Chris gave us that base to hold up the play and that’s something we maybe never had last year, that hold up play to try to get us up the pitch. The two boys up top were terrific the other night.
“I played against JET last year when he was at Livingston and he’s a top quality player. It’s the same with Chris. You see wee bits in training. His finishing is brilliant and long may it continue into the season.”
The first game of the season also brought a change of position for McCrorie. Signed as a central midfielder by former manager Derek McInnes, the Scotland under-21 international was deployed in central defence by new boss Stephen Glass at Pittodrie.
It’s a role he is accustomed to playing but with Declan Gallagher available after missing the first leg due to suspension McCrorie is unsure whether his change of position will become permanent.
He said: “I’m not sure, I haven’t really spoken to the gaffer about it. I’ve played centre back a lot. When I was at Rangers, I played at centre back a lot.
“Last season at times I dropped into centre back so it’s a position that I’m very familiar with and know well. I just want to play wherever I can help the team and make the team as successful as it can be.”
It may be a reshaped Aberdeen team which has arrived in Sweden but there is no shortage of European experience within the Dons ranks and McCrorie believes that will be important against a Hacken team looking for redress after being overwhelmed a week ago.
The defender said: “A lot of us have played in European games. There are new boys who have not so it’s good that we can pass on our experience and knowhow in these types of games. I think you could maybe see that experience the other night. We’ve played a lot of European football and I think that helped us.”
Despite their impressive advantage following the first leg McCrorie insists there will be no complacency in his side in Gothenburg.
He said: “We’ve got massive respect for our opponents. They wouldn’t be in Europe if they weren’t a good team and they’ve got quality within their side.
“We saw that the other night with little bits of play they had. They’ve got good quality players. We’ll go in aiming for a clean sheet and treat it as a clean slate.
“We want to score as many goals as we can again and get off to a good start, but the main aim is just to get through into the next round.
“They were decent. They had good bits of play. In the first half 10 minutes they came out and started well. We dominated from there and imposed ourselves on the game.
“There’s no getting away from it, they’ve got good players but we’ve got quality players as well and firmly believe we’ve got enough to get us through to the next round. It’s all about us executing the game plan the best we can.”