Pittodrie may have only hosted three games this season but it has already been a good-luck charm for Aberdeen.
Three wins from three, 10 goals scored and a vibrant atmosphere backing a vibrant Dons side. It has been home sweet home.
They will need a performance to get the old ground rocking on Thursday night if they are to deliver one of their greatest results in European football against Rijeka.
The 2-0 defeat to the Croatian side last week, coupled with the morale-sapping 1-0 loss to St Mirren on Sunday, has dampened the enthusiasm somewhat of an energetic and entertaining start to the season.
In the games against Chikhura Sachkhere and Hearts this month, Aberdeen won by a combined total of 10-2. Lewis Ferguson has been a central hub in those displays and witnessed the effect a frenetic Pittodrie has on the team.
He said: “I think with the tempo we’ve played at Pittodrie this season, there has been a real buzz in and around the crowd. It lifts our energy levels that wee bit. It gives you that extra boost. We’ve played at a really quick, pacy tempo and that’s what the crowd want to see.”
Aberdeen’s home form was a concern last season, dropping points against St Mirren, Hamilton Accies and Livingston, and going eight league games without a win on home soil between December 2018 and April this year.
Ferguson added: “We lost a good few points at Pittodrie in the league and it wasn’t good enough. You want to make your home ground a fortress and in the last couple of games there we’ve been magnificent. The crowd have really helped us. It’s the noisiest I’ve ever heard them. It helps massively. It’s as if they sucked the ball into the net.
“Against Hearts, a lot of people maybe thought that was us when we went 2-1 down and we looked dead on our feet but the crowd really got behind us. It gives you that extra spark and energy and we got the two late goals.”
It has been a busy start to the season but one Aberdeen anticipated, given their aspirations to progress further in the competition than ever before.
The squad, as seems to happen every summer, has undergone major surgery, with eight players – including Graeme Shinnie and Gary Mackay-Steven – departing and nine new faces coming in. Ferguson added: “I would say we are stronger in terms of depth. Last season we had a lot of injuries and it left us a wee bit short but this year the staff have got it spot-on with their signings.”
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