As Stephen Glass accepted that St Mirren’s Jamie McGrath had turned his back on a potential move to Aberdeen, the Dons manager focused on the visit of Rangers tonight with a recognition that, under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, the opposition’s style will be different.
Ireland international midfielder McGrath was Aberdeen’s no 1 transfer target and was expected to make the switch to Pittodrie in the summer after a pre-contract deal had been completed this month.
But the 25-year-old made it clear he wasn’t interested as clubs from the Championship south of the border started to hover and Glass ended his interest.
“We want players who want to come play for Aberdeen,” he said. “There is a pressure that is attached to playing here at this club.
“We are hoping that the targets we go for can see what we offer them for their careers. It’s a brilliant club to play for and I’m sure we will get the right people in the door.”
Glass admitted, however, that he was still in the market for new faces, though not necessarily before the summer.
He also insisted there had been no movement on the possibility of £4m-priced full-back Calvin Ramsay and midfielder Ryan Hedges, with Blackburn Rovers keen on the Wales international, heading south.
He said: “We need to make sure anybody we bring in will strengthen and we talk about that continually. It’s important that we are in a position where we are not doing anything panicked last minute either.
“It is all targeted. If we can get the right ones we will. If we can’t we won’t bring in bodies just for the sake of it.
“That’s really important. We have young players whose pathways shouldn’t be blocked and in general we have a good squad as it stands.
“We don’t have to lose anyone unless things go outwith our control in terms of ridiculous money coming in for any player.”
Glass is excited about the visit of Rangers, despite being without front man Marley Watkins, still out because of a long-term injury.
And he warned the Light Blues that they’ll be in for a tough time as his team started to display a consistency last month that was absent earlier.
He said: “We were winning games, being a little bit harder to beat and being a little more clinical at the other end.
“I think we were getting there. We would have preferred to have kept playing. Obviously the lack of fans meant it was a bonus not to keep playing, but I do think the boys are ready.
“The way they’ve been training, sometimes it feels like there’s something lacking, they want the bite of games. It’s almost like pre-season. You want the real stuff to start again. That’s the biggest thing for me. We’re looking to get back to what we were at the start of December.
“This game is real, alright. I think it’s a good one. Both teams had a particularly good December as well. We were all looking forward to the game at the end of December and I don’t see anything changing on that front.
“We’re both in the same boat, rested with a chance to plan and prepare. It should be a good game. The atmosphere is always good in an Aberdeen v Rangers game. It’s been a while since there have been fans at one so it’s a big thing for us to look forward to.”
Glass knows that the van Bronkhorst way of playing will be different from that of the man he succeeded in the Ibrox hot-seat, Steven Gerrard, but was unconcerned by such a change.
“I think, as with any change of staff, you’re going to see a little bit of a change of style,” he said. That’s the only thing. They’ve still got a good group of players, but they’ve got a manager who uses them slightly differently. Other than that, I don’t hang too much on what they do.
“How we affect the game is important. We obviously pay them respect and watch them, but I’m not too concerned on getting into the differences between this manager and their previous one.”