Date: 12th July 2015 at 10:12am
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Thanks in no small part to Liverpool loanee Danny Ward the Aberdeen European adventure continued into a second round of Europa League qualification after our away goals win over Shkendija on Thursday.

Match Report – Click Here

If we thought the Macedonia side were tough then that’s likely to be nothing compared to Rijeka who will, with all due respect to Shkendija – who threatened to knock us out as it was! – are far superior….

Ward, in quotes the BBC carried from the Official Website, knows we’ll be facing a ‘step up’ but feels coming through on Thursday can see us go from ‘strength to strength’ now.

Putting things into prospective, Rijeka took part in the Europa League proper last season after winning all six-matches from qualification and having done this they beat Standard Liege and Feyenoord in the group stages!

What’s more eventually winners Sevilla, who won the Europa League for a second season in succession, were held by the Croatian side who have plenty of quality in the squad so the ‘keeper knows just what sort of a test we’re facing.

In reflection to the nil-nil draw with Shkendija at Pittodrie, with Ward making a competitive home bow, he said.

‘We knew what they were about from last week, they are technically very good, a lot of good players, a lot of internationals. So it was a good test for us, especially so early in the season.

‘You can’t take any team in Europe for granted, They were a very good team, very well-organised and hard to break down.

‘We know a bit more about Rijeka, so hopefully we’ll get a good run in the competition.’

On the overall performance he though it was ‘very disciplined’ with him happy to help us to a cleansheet with him selected ahead of Jamie Langfield and Scott Brown, who himself managed 17 cleansheets for us last season.

Had it not been for the 22-year-old making a late save we would have gone out but he wasn’t taking the credit, he shared it around by adding.

‘I did see it late and thankfully got a hand to it. But the back four were great all night.

‘Every time they were called upon they stuck their head in, stuck their foot in, got their bodies in the way.’

There’s absolutely no doubting that we’ll have to step it up significantly against Rijeka.

The Croats will be the overwhelming favourites to progress if truth be known but if we don’t believe we can win this tie, to move a step closer to the Europa League proper, why even turn up!

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