Summer signing Shayden Morris is determined to help bring European action back to Aberdeen.
This season is the first time since 2014 that the Reds have not been involved in Europe. Aberdeen had already secured Continental action for seven consecutive seasons.
Morris, 20, admits the chance to play in Europe was a major draw when he signed for English League One Dons Fleetwood Town.
Signed for an undisclosed fee, the winger made his Dons debut as a first-half substitute in the recent 3-2 loss to Motherwell.
It was a loss that dented the initial momentum after a major rebuild of the transfer window.
Aberdeen are aiming to bounce back – and get their Euros back on track – against St Johnstone in Perth on Saturday.
Morris said: “We are aiming to get into European football.
“I want to be part of a team that wins and competes in competitions like this.
“Aberdeen are a club that aim high and I want to contribute as much as I can to winning games.
“I feel like I can add goals and assists.
“In every game I want to make an impact, score a goal, get an assist – get a few.”
Cost of Missing Euro Action
Missing out on Europe is particularly costly for Aberdeen this season.
Hearts are set to pocket a cash boost of over £3m this quarter thanks to European action.
The Tyncastle side, who finished third in the Premiership and reached the Scottish Cup final last season, are guaranteed to play in the Euros until at least Christmas.
Hearts follow FC Zurich in their Europa League qualifying play-off after losing the first leg 2-1 in Switzerland.
If they overturn that deficit in the second leg, Hearts will advance to the lucrative group stages, which guarantee £3.2million.
A win in the Europa League groups is worth £475,000 and a draw is worth £160,000.
If the Hearts failed to progress past FC Zurich, they would still be parachuted into the Conference League group stages.
Reaching the Conference League groups pays £2.7m, with an additional £420,000 per win and £140,000 for a draw.
Ready to make an impact with Dons
After playing in the English third tier with Fleetwood, European action was off limits, but now it’s on Morris’ radar after signing a four-year contract with the Reds.
He made his debut at the weekend coming off the bench after 30 minutes for Matty Kennedy, who was sent off with an injury.
Morris said: “I feel like I had an impact on the game.
“To be honest, I just wanted to show what I can do.
“I wanted to get on the ball, show my pace, get on the pitch and try to provide assists and goals to help the team.
“I feel like I can do well here with Aberdeen.
“It was not the best performance of the team.
“We’ve been on the training ground all week and we’re looking to straighten things out on Saturday.”
Bittersweet debut for winger Morris
Morris admits the Motherwell game was bittersweet.
Although delighted to make his debut, the winger was disgusted the Reds crashed out to win.
The disappointment lingered over the weekend but was quickly banished back to training as the Dons focused on St Johnstone.
He said: “You come home after the game and you’re disappointed.
“Losing games is hard for me to accept because I want to win everything.
“However, as soon as a new week rolls around, you’re just good to go.
“The focus is now on St Johnstone.
“As footballers we know that we are not going to win every game.
“You have to have the mentality where you put things aside and are ready to go again.
“Hopefully we will put everything in place on Saturday against St Johnstone.
“If we stick to our game plan, I think we can dominate and show what we can do.”
Impressed by Aberdeen supporters
Morris was impressed with Aberdeen fans on his debut and expects further strong support from the traveling Red Army in Perth.
The winger believes the support will be vital for the Dons’ success this season.
He said: “The fan support has been top notch.
“The fan base here is really good.
“Saturday against Motherwell, coming out and watching the fans was amazing.
“I heard the away support is also very good and that will definitely help us throughout the season.”
Ready to start against St Johnstone
Morris was featured for winger Kennedy against Motherwell.
Kennedy was sent off with a hamstring injury, but returned to training.
Northern Ireland international Kennedy will undergo a late fitness test ahead of the St Johnstone game.
Morris insists he’s ready to start if called.
He said: “I played for around 70 minutes and I feel ready to start the games and give it my all.”
Already subscribed? Login
[Aberdeen winger Shayden Morris sets European qualification target]