Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin aims to emulate Hearts’ rise from adversity to success next season.
Goodwin accepts Dons supporters are frustrated after a 10th placed Premiership finish.
However he believes a summer rebuild can get Aberdeen back on track to deliver a successful 2022-23 campaign.
For proof of a rapid turnaround following a strong summer recruitment Goodwin points to the recent ascent of Hearts.
In March last year Hearts were in the Championship and disgruntled fans demonstrated outside Tynecastle following a Scottish Cup loss to Brora Rangers.
Only 14 months later the Edinburgh club finished third in the Premiership and will contest the Scottish Cup final with Rangers this weekend.
Hearts are also guaranteed European group stage action next season and will land a £3.5million Euro cash windfall.
Goodwin insists that can be Aberdeen in 12 months.
And he is determined to deliver the summer rebuild to achieve that.
Goodwin said: “I understand the supporters’ frustration but there are examples of teams who have been in similar scenario to ourselves.
“You only have to look at what happened at Hearts.
“Hearts are a similar sized club to ourselves.
“They were knocked out of the cup by Brora Rangers and there were demonstrations outside Tynecastle.
“Only 12 months or so on from that they are the third best team in the country and have a cup final to look forward to.
“That is because they got the recruitment right.
“I want that to be us in 12 months’ time.
“I’m very confident that we have the ability and the resources here to make that happen.”
A bad season to miss out on Europe
Hearts were promoted to the Premiership in April last year as Championship winners.
In the Tynecastle club’s first season back in the top flight they secured a third placed finish.
The Jambos concluded the season a massive 20 points ahead of Aberdeen who crashed to the lowest league finish since 2004.
Hearts are guaranteed group stage Euro action next season having also secured a Scottish Cup final berth.
The Tynecastle club will enter the Europa League at the play-off round next season.
If they win that two-legged fixture Hearts will progress to the Europa League group stages.
Should Hearts lose they parachute into the Europa Conference League groups.
‘We need to get the squad sorted’
It was a costly year to slip up as Hearts are set to cash in from Continental action to the tune of £3.5m plus gate revenues from at least four home Euro matches.
Goodwin said: “There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t go and do the same next season.
“However, in order for that to happen we need to get the squad sorted.
“We need to do the most important thing in the summer which is getting the recruitment right.
“We’re doing that at the moment.”
Dons rebuild starts by axing players
Since he was appointed manager in mid February nine players have exited the club.
Long-serving Andy Considine, Funso-King Ojo, Dylan McGeouch and Michael Ruth will all leave as they were not offered new contracts.
Loan players Adam Montgomery (Celtic) and Teddy Jenks (Brighton and Hove Albion) have returned to their parent clubs.
The contracts for Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Mikey Devlin were terminated early.
Emmanuel-Thomas was contracted to summer 2023 whilst Devlin was on a short deal until the end of the season.
Former captain Scott Brown, contracted until summer 2023, left Pittodrie in March to concentrate on his coaching career.
Brown was recently appointed manager of League One Fleetwood Town.
Goodwin’s summer signing targets
On his bid to bring players in, Goodwin has admitted he wants to land Wolves midfielder Connor Ronan in the summer.
Ronan, 24, spent a successful season on loan at St Mirren and was named the Paisley club’s player of the year.
Goodwin managed Ronan at St Mirren before taking on the Aberdeen job in February.
Ronan is contracted to English Premier League side Wolves until summer 2024.
He is also interested in Wigan Athletic’s Republic of Ireland international midfielder Jamie McGrath.
Aberdeen tried to sign McGrath in the January transfer window but he rejected that approach to join League One winners Wigan.
McGrath has struggled to command a first team place at Wigan since his January transfer from St Mirren.
Goodwin also refused to rule out a move for Ipswich Town Vaclav Hladky and St Mirren defender Charles Dunne is also on his radar.
Aberdeen are also scouring Europe for summer signing targets.
Head of recruitment Darren Mowbray has recently travelled to Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Sweden to scout players.
Strategy, budget and personnel
Goodwin is confident everything is in place to deliver the summer recruitment that will get the Reds to the level Hearts are now.
He said: “We’ve got a great strategy in place.
“We’ve got good people behind the scenes working hard on it.
“There is also a great budget.”