Aberdeen attacker Wes Burns is determined to repay Derek McInnes’ faith in him by helping the Dons have a successful season.
The 21-year-old Bristol City forward made an immediate impact on his debut for the Dons in Thursday’s Europa League second qualifying round tie against Ventspils, scoring with his first touch in injury time as the Dons secured a 3-0 lead in the first leg.
For Burns, it was the perfect way to introduce himself to his new club’s support but it is manager McInnes, who gave him his break when he managed at Ashton Gate, who Burns hopes to repay.
He said: “I’m very happy. To score with your first touch is a good way to announce yourself, isn’t it?
“To make my debut in a European game was amazing for me. I only met the players before the game, so I was thrown straight in but the lads were great and welcomed me in. To score will hopefully help me settle.
“Derek McInnes gave me my debut at Bristol City when he was there and it has been a long process over the last couple of seasons to get me a loan here.
“Due to different circumstances it didn’t happen but it finally has and I’m delighted to be here. It will help me build my progress as a player.
“Derek was a big factor in me coming here and being offered the chance to play in the Scottish Premiership is great as it is a big league with big games.”
Former Wales under-21 international Burns, who made Chris Coleman’s provisional 29-man squad for the European championship before missing out on final selection for the finals in France, revealed it was another former Dons loan player who convinced him to try a move to Scotland.
He said: “I spoke to Danny Ward and he said it was a club filled with really good people.
“We’ve got the World Cup qualifiers coming up soon so to make an impact here and put myself in contention to make that squad is my short-term aim.”
Burns’ first touch in European club football has been an important one and sets up a potential third qualifying round meeting with either Maribor, of Slovenia, or Bulgarian side Levski Sofia after yesterday’s draw.
The clubs finished runners-up in their domestic leagues last season and are tied at 0-0 after the first leg of their tie in Slovenia on Thursday.
The attacker said: “It’s a massive thing to be drawn against teams like that. But it’s only half-time in this tie with Ventspils, so no one here is looking ahead to the next round.”