In the upcoming Europa League play-off clash between Aberdeen and BK Hacken, manager Barry Robson has firmly rebuked any notion that the pressure on his team has been lessened due to the guarantee of group stage football.
With both teams vying for a coveted spot in the Europa League group stages, the stakes are undeniably high.
If Aberdeen overcome the Swedish side, then huge European nights could return to Pittodrie Stadium.
Robson’s dismissal of the suggestion that the pressure has eased underscores the competitive spirit and determination that define football at this level.
The stage is set for an intense showdown as Aberdeen face off against BK Hacken, the reigning champions of Sweden.
The stakes are monumental: the victor will secure a place in the prestigious Europa League group stage, ensuring a chance to compete against some of Europe’s most prominent clubs.
Conversely, the defeated side will be relegated to the Conference League, a scenario neither team is eager to face.
“We want to play at the highest level possible,” Robson said.
“The boys did extremely well to have a bit of safety behind them but we are not here to just think ‘oh right, we are going to go into the other European competition’. We want to try and get through and play some big, big teams.
“We are hoping we can bring something to the table, perform as well as we can, and make sure that we can take a decent result going in to the second leg.”