The manager met the media earlier today for the first time this season and discussed a range of topics from his recent signings to VAR and much more.
“People only get to hear about the players that you do get, but there is a lot of painstaking work that goes on with very little reward at the end of it. “It is really difficult signing players. Players at the level we want.
“We have managed to be successful on a few occasions. Delighted with the work that we have managed to do, in getting players in.
“There were areas of the team that we wanted to strengthen.
“Ryan Hedges is a player we have been aware of for a while. He is a good age and he has real potential. He can play off both sides and we feel there are more goals in him. We have seen that already in training. He is a decent finisher. He is an exciting one for us.
“Curtis Main we know well. We have come up against him. Like Ryan he was out of contract. He is a player we have always been attracted to; he has done well against us in certain games. Although last season was not his most productive in terms of goals, he was still a handful to play against. We feel we can provide him with the platform to get him more goals.
“Ash Taylor is another one who is not just familiar with the league but also the club. He left and it has not worked out as well as he would have hoped. When the opportunity came to take him back, I felt we have to be working with four centre backs. We saw last season when we were stretched. We have our four in now. Good age, good presence. We conceded too many goals last season, and hopefully he can help us in that regard. He has a fight to get in the team as there is real competition there.
“Craig Bryson, when you look at the out of contract list, right across all the positions, there are not many better if at all. We are absolutely delighted we have managed to secure that signature. It has all come about pretty quickly. Although I have been speaking to Craig’s agent since January/February, on and off, he let us know that he was willing to come back to Scotland. He had a stronger offer to stay at Derby, he had a strong offer from elsewhere in the Championship, which indicates the level of player that we are getting. Thankfully it was not about money, it was more about coming back to Scotland. We kept the line of communication open. Craig had a lot to consider and it all moved pretty quickly. We have a good relationship with Derby and we wanted to do things properly so when we got the word that Craig had made his mind up things moved quickly. He is a top top player. Craig has had a great career but from speaking to him he has so much more he wants to do and he wants to do it in an Aberdeen shirt.
“I want to work with good players, and I am certainly getting a good player. I could not be more impressed with him the short time I have known him.”
“We are still keen to try and add to the squad. We need to stress that we are working really hard to bring players in, who wont cost money. And that is difficult. So we are actively trying to secure one or two other positions at the moment. Hopefully we will have a couple more done before we have to register the squad for Europe.
“The obvious position we are looking at is left back. But we are also looking at two or three different positions.
“We are making good progress with a few things. We will just need to see how it plays out of us.”
“We have been speaking to Gary Mackay-Steven throughout the summer. If Gary turns around and says he really wants to be here when he weighs up all his options, then we will see how things develop. He has not closed the door on us and we have not closed the door on him. I have enjoyed working with Gary and I want to continue working with him. He is at an age where he wants to consider his options.”