ABERDEEN new boy Gary MacKay-Steven has warned Siroki Brijeg they will not have it so easy in next week’s Europa League return.

The former Celtic winger admits the Dons were second best for large spells against their Bosnian opponents as their first-leg clash at Pittodrie ended in a unsatisfactory 1-1 draw.

The winners of the tie have been drawn to face Cypriots Apollon Limassol or Moldovan outfit Zaria Balti in the third qualifying round but Aberdeen’s hopes now hang in the balance.

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However, MacKay-Steven believes Derek McInnes’ men will be in much better shape for next Thursday’s Balkans trip once they get another week’s intensive training under their belt.

He told RedTV: “I thought technically they were a good team. They set up well tactically. As I say in the second half they knocked the ball about well and they always seemed to have an extra man in midfield.

“They got their tactics right so fair play to them.

“As much as it is a good result for them, I feel we are more than capable of turning this tie around. It is only half-time and we are still confident we can get through.

“At this stage of the season you are never at your top level. These minutes help everyone get that little bit more match sharp.

“Next week we will also be better from the experience of playing with each other and I think we will be better prepared.”

MacKay-Steven was thrown straight into McInnes’ starting line-up for his Dons debut just 24 hours after completing his switch from Parkhead where he had become frustrated at his lack of first team action.

The former Dundee United wideman was a peripheral figure last term as Brendan Rodgers’ Hoops wrapped up a domestic treble.

But now after making his first competitive start start for four months, MacKay-Steven believes his new boss can help him rediscover the form the helped win him his 2015 move to Celtic Park from Tannadice.

“It was a great game to make my debut on such a big occasion and with a great crowd,” he said. “I really enjoyed it.

“I did not expect to start. I was delighted the gaffer showed faith in me. That was amazing for me. I will look forward to repaying him. I lasted as long as I could but needed an oxygen tent at the end.

“A few weeks ago there was talk of a move here. As the weeks went on the interest got more and more. I spoke to the manager here and he told me what his plans were for the season. I could not wait to come. I was so happy when it got finalised.

“Aberdeen is a massive club and the great work Derek has done here has not gone unnoticed by me. I want to kick on from here and help the club move forward.

“I needed to get out and play games. I was in and out of the Celtic team, I didn’t want another season of being on the fringes. It is hard when you are training all week and then not playing games.

“I have come to a club who are challenging for honours. Aberdeen is a massive club who showed a lot of interest in me.

“I can’t thank Derek and all the staff enough for making the move happen.

“I can now look forward to the season.”