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Stephen Glass praises contribution of half-time substitute Funso Ojo in Euro win

Aberdeen v BK Hacken – UEFA Europa Conference League – Second Qualifying Round – First Leg – Pittodrie Stadium
(Image credit: Steve Welsh)

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass praised the contribution of half-time substitute Funso Ojo but was modest about his part in the tactical change that ultimately saw Aberdeen win through to face Qarabag in the Europa Conference League play-off round.

The half-time introduction of Ojo and Connor McLennan and a change of formation would prove key and Ojo was involved in both the goals scored by Ryan Hedges, either side of Gisli Eyjolfsson’s curling strike for the visitors as the Dons won 2-1 to progress 5-3 on aggregate.

Glass said: “Funso, when he came on at half-time, his energy, his quality, his pace were excellent. The crowd responded and backed us – it was a different atmosphere altogether and it needed to change.

“The change of shape helped Ryan. He’s disappointed he’s not scored three or four goals, but he’s done his work for the team as well. Anything we do as a group will be as a group.

“If you sit on your hands and you doubt your judgement then you can find yourself in trouble. The players coming off didn’t come off because of their performance. They came off because of what we needed on the pitch for the team.

“The players understand that and they respond right. We have to make decisions as a staff and it’s me who has to pull the trigger. That’s why I’m here.”

The win marked the first time the club had got beyond the third qualifying round of a European competition since they reached the group stage of the UEFA Cup in 2007, and they now face a trip to Azerbaijan next Thursday.

On that, Glass continued: “I’m happy to be in the next round. We produced the goods on the pitch. We were not at our best, but we’re in the next round.

“We’ll leave a day earlier, we’ll go there to compete and keep it alive and then a Thursday night here under the lights – you’ll see an Aberdeen team really determined to make the group stages.”