Aberdeen manager Barry Robson insists patience is key as his new-look squad settle into a new campaign.
The Dons travel to Hearts on Saturday looking for their first league win of the season following two draws and two defeats from their opening four games.
It has been a summer of huge change at Pittodrie with 13 new arrivals at the club.
Wednesday was the first time all of Robson’s new signings had been together at Cormack Park, and he says time to build an understanding is what his squad needs as they prepare for their Europa Conference League group stage debut alongside the ongoing domestic campaign.
He said: “We’re still a work in progress. We know it’s difficult, but we’re patient with it. We need to navigate the challenges and we’ve got a lot of games we’ll need to manage.
“If you want to pick a best 11, they can’t play every game – it’s impossible with our schedule.
“It’s not about having a best 11, it’s about having a squad which can perform well for the games we’ve got coming up.
“We’re in the group stages for the first time in 16 years.
“I was lucky enough to be able to travel and play in Europe and it’s great.
“We all know it’s going to be tough, but hopefully we can face these great players and get Pittodrie rocking.”
Summer overhaul was needed at Pittodrie
The Aberdeen manager is pleased with the backing he has received from the club in reshaping his team.
Robson had eight players on loan last season and their return to their parent clubs meant a major overhaul of his squad was required.
With 10 of the 13 new arrivals on permanent deals, the Dons boss is confident the club can now engage in longer term strategy now has a solid foundation to build from.
He said: “The board have been great, we’ve put a structure in place and have made good signings which will build value in the squad.
“We had too many loan players here last season, which is why we sat down and said: ‘let’s build an Aberdeen team’. We don’t want to be signing 13 players every window now.”
Dadia and Williams nearing first team involvement
Two of the loan signings, Or Dadia and Rhys Williams, have yet to feature, but Robson expects both to be involved in the near future.
He said: “Dadia has been terrific. He’s working so hard and getting better every day.
“Rhys has been stop-start, he’s actually rolled his ankle.
“He keeps getting niggle after niggle, where he’s just getting going and then has to stop again, but he’ll get there.”
Dons boss focused on Tynecastle test
The Dons return to league duty tomorrow at Tynecastle, and it is a game where both sides are in need of the three points following disappointing recent results.
The Jambos and the Dons have each taken one point from their last three matches in the league.
Robson hopes his players can enjoy the challenge of getting a result at what has been a historically tough venue for the club.
Hearts won both home games against Aberdeen last season, but Robson, who was in charge for the 2-1 defeat there in May, is looking forward to the challenge.
He said: “The last game we played down there, I felt if we had got the goal early we would have been alright.
“We never had Duk and Ross McCrorie was out. We were a patched-up team on the day, but we started well.
“Tynecastle was one of my favourite places to play. I loved playing there.”
New signing Stefan Gartenmann is in line to make his debut, but Shayden Morris misses out due to a hamstring injury, while Williams has an ankle problem.