Aberdeen future is bright, says retiring Russell Anderson

Aberdeen captain Russell Anderson
Aberdeen captain Russell Anderson was clapped on to the park by both sets of players

Russell Anderson believes there is "plenty to be excited about" at Aberdeen after playing his last game for the club.

The 36-year-old captain bowed out in a 1-0 loss to St Johnstone, with the Dons finishing as Premiership runners-up, 17 points behind champions Celtic.

"We've had a really good season, building on the good work from the season before," said Anderson.

"The aim, as it is always, will be to improve again."

Anderson featured in his first match since August and managed the full 90 minutes as Saints secured fourth place thanks to a goal from substitute Chris Kane.

"It would have been nice to go out with a win; unfortunately, it wasn't to be," added Anderson, who is taking up a business development role at Pittodrie.

"It's like a lot of these big days when they come round. There's a big build-up, you spend a long time waiting for it and, before you know it, it's over.

"But the reception I got before and after the game was everything I could have hoped for."

Anderson will be back at work next week, with his team-mates not getting much more of a summer holiday, given their early start to Europa League qualifying.

"There's a lot of hard work ahead and the players deserve the break they'll get now," he told BBC Scotland.

"They'll come back refreshed and raring to go again, I'm sure."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is targeting success in both domestic cups next season

However, with the first round of Europa League qualifying beginning on 2 July, manager Derek McInnes described the close-season as "ridiculously short", explaining: "It doesn't give the players time to rest and recharge.

"With internationals on top of that, it's really difficult.

"We enjoyed the experience of Europe last time and we've worked hard as a club to get back there. We want to make it a worthwhile experience again.

"The players have got to come back that bit earlier. But sometimes that's just part of being successful; there are more demands on you."

McInnes thought his side created the best chances at Pittodrie and was convinced a penalty should have been awarded when Tam Scobbie halted a powerful surge from Cammy Smith.

However, the manager said the day was "more about Russell Anderson", adding that the defender had "given a level of performance to be proud of".

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