Jonny Hayes aims to repay the dedication of the globe-trotting Red Army by delivering a win in Helsinki.
The Dons will be cheered on by 1,500 travelling fans when facing HJK Helsinki in a Group G Europa Conference League clash on Thursday.
Winger Hayes is mindful of the expense to fans to travel to the Finnish capital in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and so close to Christmas.
Finland is also a notoriously expensive country but that has not deterred die-hard Dons fans from travelling in force to Scandinavia.
Dons fans are travelling to Finland despite Aberdeen’s hopes of progressing from the groups having been extinguished.
Aberdeen have yet to secure a win in Group G after four games.
Hayes aims to end that win drought in freezing Helsinki as payback to travelling supporters for their unwavering commitment.
He said: “Unfortunately we can’t get to the knock-out rounds but we still have way more than a thousand fans turning up to watch us in Finland.
“They are doing that and paying money for tickets and travel at this time of year around Christmas.
“We know what this (Europe) means to everyone coming through the gates.
“There is also personal pride to play for.
“We will try to win the last two games.”
The need to ‘live and breathe football’
Aberdeen have flown out to the freezing Finnish capital where the mercury is forecast to drop to below minus 10 on game-day.
Snow is also expected but HJK Helsinki’s Bolt Arena has a state-of-the-art artificial pitch.
Aberdeen have received plaudits for their performance in the Europa Conference League but have secured only two points from a possible 12.
Hayes reckons valuable lessons have been learned in Aberdeen’s first appearance in Euro groups since the UEFA Cup in 2007-08.
One vital lesson is that players must “live and breathe” football to cope with the demands of balancing Europe with domestic commitments.
He said: “We have probably deserved a victory or two in Europe from our performances like the Helsinki game (1-1) and PAOK at home (3-2 loss).
“But there are no easy games in Europe, whether you are playing against Bulgarian, Macedonian or Finnish teams, they are all technically good.
“European games are about having that 24/7 mindset and I think that’s where European countries are ahead of British countries.
“I’ve seen that kind of mindset from European players in my younger days that they live and breathe football.
“They are quick, strong and can move the ball well technically.
“Every game is a tough one in Europe.
“If you can get a win you have to push yourself against top quality opposition.”
Football is a 24/7 commitment
Now 36-years old, Hayes insists embracing the “live and breathe football” philosophy has been key to the longevity of his career.
For Hayes football is 24-7.
That is the level of commitment he gives to Aberdeen and training.
He said: “For me fitness is a by-product of training.
“Footballers are under the microscope.
“You have to eat well and you have to train well.
“As short as 10 years ago you could have got away with some things.
“But now to play beyond 28 or 29 you need to make sure you’re looking after yourself.
“That also comes from the manager, the sports scientists and the physios.
“Football is 24/7.
“You may be off but you’re thinking you need to get a good night’s sleep on Sunday to be ready for Monday.
“It’s the mindset.
“Football has evolved over the years and for me I’ve always enjoyed training and trying to be the best I can in training every day.
“And that leads into the rest of your life.”
End Euro groups on a winning high
Aberdeen will conclude their Europa Conference League campaign with the clash in Helsinki followed by a home match against Eintracht Frankfurt on December 14.
They pushed group leaders PAOK home and away and also went toe-to-toe with Bundesliga giants Eintracht Frankfurt (2-1 loss) in Germany.
Hayes admits to frustration that the Dons are not still in the mix to progress from the groups.
He said: “Against Frankfurt, we lost but we were away from home and could maybe have got a point.
“We had a chances to win games and we probably should have more points on the board than we do.
“But unfortunately that’s football.
“I’m not one for looking back though.
“We have two games left and we will go out to win them.”