McGinn hoping for good times ahead

Niall McGinn celebrates after making it 2-0 in last night's win. Picture: SNSNiall McGinn celebrates after making it 2-0 in last night's win. Picture: SNS
Niall McGinn celebrates after making it 2-0 in last night's win. Picture: SNS
ABERDEEN forward Niall McGinn believes their 5-0 win over Daugava Riga could be the start of a “special” European run.

McGinn was on target as the Dons dominated from start to finish at Pittodrie in the first leg of the first qualifying round on Thursday night.

With the game all but wrapped up ahead of next week’s second leg in Latvia, Aberdeen fans are already planning for a double header against Dutch side Groningen later this month.

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“I think it’s definitely the start of something special for the club,” said McGinn.

“It’s going to be another difficult game over there and we have to go there and do a job, but we know if we get past this stage, that there will be bigger and tougher tests ahead.

“We are looking forward to them. We are fortunate enough to be in Europe and long may it continue.”

Aberdeen had less than a month off before returning to prepare for their early European adventure and looked sharp against a side 19 games into their league season, although they missed a number of chances to make the scoreline even more convincing.

And with Derek McInnes keeping his first-choice team intact during the summer, optimism is high among Aberdeen fans that they can build on last season’s success.

“The boys are looking fresh and fit and we are hungry to get back in the swing of things,” McGinn said. “We are looking to keep this European run going as long as possible and that will set us up nicely for the start of the season as well.

“We’ve got a good squad of players and, with how well we did last season, the manager wanted to keep working with the same players.

“We are creating chances and we’re an exciting team to watch and it’s enjoyable to be part of it.”

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Daugava ended with nine men against the Dons after losing their discipline, also having five players booked. Peter Pawlett was the main victim of their physical approach when he limped off with an ankle knock.

“I thought we just wore them down and it got to the stage where they threw in a few bad challenges,” added McGinn, “but we just kept plugging away and creating chances.

“Although their heads went at times, they got a few players sent off, we just kept playing football the right way and thankfully got a few more goals.”