SHOULD Aberdeen get past the relatively unknown Široki Brijeg of Bosnian there won’t be an open bus parade through the city.

That would be reserved if the team manager to negotiate past three rounds and reach the Europa League group stages.

OK, perhaps that’s over the top but given how this month has gone so far for Scottish football when new levels of humiliation were reached, if one our clubs aside from Celtic were to go on anything which could be described as a run, it will warrant celebrating.

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Aberdeen have, it must be said, been more unfortunate than anything else under Derek McInnes when it has come to Europe. They have been drawn against teams with far greater resources, the ball hasn’t bounced their way at vital times as well; however, to excuse them completely would also be wrong.

In saying all that, there is a quiet confidence at Pittodrie at the moment. True, the squad is different but it remains strong and familiar enough. If Aberdeen are going to make a decent fist of the Europa League then now is the time.

“There is a lot of respect to be gained here and we want to be among the better clubs in Europe, the teams people instantly know when a draw is made as there is tradition and respect there,” said McInnes.

“We want to get amongst that but we have to deal with a good team first. We hope to do it confidently but there are no guarantees and we have to turn up and deliver. One good performance is not enough, we must deliver in both legs.

“This is top of my priorities as it’s the only competition we are in. We’re not going to win the Europa League but we can win cups domestically and compete in the league, and I want us to compete in Europe.

“We have to find a way to win those games and get into the group stages but first of all we have to negotiate this tie. I want to do better than we have done in previous years.

“Like any cup competition you play better teams as you go along and whoever wins this tie will face a tougher opponent but I just want to us to mix it with the best and there are plenty of them in this competition.”

The big names which await in the third round include AC Milan, Everton, Zenit St Petersburg, Athletic Bilbao, Galatasaray and Marseille.

So, what are Siroki all about? They will be good enough to beat Aberdeen, even if that doesn’t mean they are a better side than their Scottish opponents.

“I know you’d expect me to say this but I’ve genuinely been really impressed by them,” said McInnes. “I’ve been concentrating on them and I feel as though I’ve a good handle on them. They’re a team that’s happy when they don’t have the ball, they’re confident in their defending.

“They don’t score a lot of goals but they didn’t give up too many opportunities against Ordabasy. They look a very well-coached and well-managed team.”

Aberdeen have impressed year under their manager. The next step for this unit would be to make as big a mark as the club can away from Scotland.

“I like the tactical element of the European stage,” said McInnes. “While it is a wee bit more possession-based tactically, than you get domestically, I feel there is still a need for us to play at a tempo that suits us and to try and get after the opposition and play in a manner which maybe they are not used to in their own domestic league.

“It is a tie I want us to win and I expect us to go through but we have to play well and they won’t give us the tie.”