Barry Robson has demanded that his Aberdeen players do not even think about taking it easy at Celtic Park on Saturday even though they have achieved their objective.
The Dons sealed third place in the cinch Premiership – and likely European group-stage football next term – by beating St Mirren 3-0 on Wednesday so they have little to play for other than personal pride when they visit the champions.
Robson is adamant there is no chance of him allowing his team to slip into holiday mode for their final match of the campaign.
“The players deserve a huge amount of credit for how they have performed but the message was made clear in training that the season isn’t over yet,” he said.
“We’ve got a huge game to come. The sign of a good team is being able to go right to the very end and we need to go to the very end because Celtic Park is one of the hardest places you’ll ever go to play football, especially against an Ange Postecoglou team who are relentless in the way they play.
“They have got a cup final to come afterwards so I’m sure all their players will be at it. They’ve been phenomenal this season but we need to go down there and be brave and be right at it. If we do that, we have a chance.”
Robson will be forced into two changes as on-loan Hoops defender Liam Scales is ineligible to face his parent club, while striker Bojan Miovski was carried off injured on Wednesday and will see a specialist on Monday.
Beyond that, Robson is of no mind to tinker with his team too much as he wants to ensure Aberdeen have a chance of finishing with a win.
“No,” he said when asked if he was planning to mix his team up. “We’re going down to the best team in the country.
“You can’t take that lightly because they’ve got some real top players. We need to go down there and put a performance on. We’re there to represent Aberdeen Football Club so we need to make sure we’re at it.
“I’ve been in this game far too long and you can’t take a game lightly. I’m not a big believer in playing friendlies either. Every game means something.”
Robson refused to be drawn on reports this week suggesting the Dons were close to agreeing a deal to sign on-loan Liverpool midfielder Leighton Clarkson on a permanent deal, insisting he would not comment on any transfer until it was officially confirmed.
Asked how much of a rebuild he anticipates this summer, Robson said: “We’re the same as anyone else.
“Every manager will be busy with players coming in and going out. It’s the same at every club but hopefully we can take some good players in that can help us.”