IT WAS one of the finest away performances by a Scottish club in Europe in recent years and Aberdeen hero Andrew Considine has revealed how an over-confident Croatian journalist helped motivate the Dons.
Derek McInnes’s men pulled off a stunning 3-0 victory on the Adriatic coast against a Rijeka team who had gone 12 home European games undefeated.
Sevilla, Stuttgart and Feyenoord couldn’t win at their fortress Kantrida Stadium, but not only did the Pittodrie side humiliate them with a sensational victory, they managed it in boiling heat and were even applauded off by the stunned locals.
Considine grabbed the all-important opener with a bullet header in the first half, but he believes the Croatian media deserve the credit for firing the Scots up.
Full back Shay Logan was interviewed before the game by the local press and was told not to bother turning up.
Considine said: “One of the Croatian press guys went at Shay Logan big time the day before the game. He said to Shay, ‘Don’t you dare come here and win’. He told him there was no chance we’d win, stuff like that. It was a bit off.
“Shay came in and told us and it did rile us up a bit. The gaffer mentioned their results in the Europa League beforehand and we knew they would be a great scalp for us. So to come away three up was amazing.
“We all believed we could get a result, but to go there and win 3-0 was a heck of a feat. They hadn’t lost at home in Europe for 12 games.
“They’ve got the better of some seriously good teams during that time. When you look at it like that, it’s an even better result.
“We showed them a lot of respect and likewise they showed us respect. Their manager said we taught them a lesson but it was about us taking our chances.
“We were solid as a unit. They had some tricky players in midfield but the boys did well to snuff them out. As long as we play like that again next week then we can look forward to the next round.”
Considine believes the Premiership runners-up deserve huge credit for outplaying the home side in the stifling heat too.
He admitted: “It was horrible. That was the worst conditions I have ever played in. I don’t know what it was like for the people in the stands, but it was very tough on the pitch.
“When you look at all that, it just shows how good a result it was. We’ve managed a few good ones over the years but this was right up there because they have such a strong record at home.”
Considine – who was awarded a testimonial this year – reckons Aberdeen’s recent European experience helped them a great deal, after their success over Dutch side Groningen last year and their respectable showing against La Liga stalwarts Real Sociedad.
And he’s backing his colleagues to complete the job next week.
He said: “The Groningen game was tough last year, but this side were a step up and there was the heat to take into consideration.
“But the experience of last year helped us. We know when to attack and when to defend. The gaffer learned from last year as well and it proved dividends.
“We need to be bang at it to get the job done next week. Hopefully there will be a full house at Pittodrie.
“The fans who went to Croatia were fantastic. We owe them thanks but hopefully we can get a few more goals and get the job finished.
“It’ll be another tough game. If we can get through we will be seeded so it could be really exciting.”