Aberdeen want to go 'one better' than last season, says assistant Tony Docherty

Tony Docherty and Derek McInnes
Tony Docherty and Derek McInnes are going on a decade working together

Aberdeen assistant Tony Docherty is pleased with how the Dons' new-look squad is shaping up and hopes they can go "one better" than last season.

Derek McInnes' side finished runners-up in all three domestic competitions last term.

The summer brought several changes to the squad, with Niall McGinn and Jonny Hayes among those leaving.

"For the first time in my and Derek's time at Aberdeen we've had quite a turnover of players," said Docherty.

"We lost McGinn, [Ash] Taylor, Hayes, [Peter] Pawlett and [Ryan] Jack, and a lot of people were saying it would be difficult to maintain the levels that we had.

"We have brought in Kari Arnason, Greg Tansey, Ryan Christie, Stevie May, Greg Stewart, Nicky Maynard, Gary Mackay-Steven, amongst others, and we feel as if we're getting there with the strength of our squad.

"The new signings are settling in. Day by day you can see there is becoming an understanding of how each other plays.

"We are looking to go one better than we did last year and the previous years. We are very encouraged by what we are seeing."

'My missus thinks I'm married to McInnes'

Docherty is now in his 10th season working with McInnes and the pair turned down the opportunity to take over at Sunderland before Simon Grayson was appointed Black Cats boss during the summer.

Together they led St Johnstone to promotion to the top flight in 2009 and won the League Cup win the Dons five years later.

Aberdeen have also finished second to Celtic in the Premiership in the past three seasons.

"I got to know him [McInnes] well when he was the captain of Dundee United and I was the first-team coach." Docherty said on BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

"He was a guy I admired as a player and I always knew he would go in to management.

"Since we got together at St Johnstone, we have evolved through time.

"Derek is very much hands-on, he is on the training pitch every day.

"My missus complains - she thinks I'm married to him, rather than her.

"We never leave the building at night before we know exactly what we're doing the next day in training and how that is going to contribute towards our game at the end of the week."

'An exciting place to be'

Aberdeen celebrate
Aberdeen have opened this season's Premiership with two wins

Since rejecting Sunderland's advances, McInnes and Docherty have signed new contracts, tying them to Aberdeen until 2020.

"It was very close," Docherty said of the possibility of a move to the Stadium of Light. "We are very ambitious people and we are at a very ambitious club.

"There is good work going on in the background at Aberdeen. We want to see the work through.

"Of course it was head-turning, a club of that size, but when you strip it back and look at what you've got at Aberdeen, you want to do as much as you can; you are in it for the long game.

"We feel with the backing of the board, and there are new investors as well, the odds are stacked for us to do well.

"When you have that stability and that backing, you would always side with that.

"Hopefully we get a new stadium and training facility. The club are putting so much work into that.

"Aberdeen is an exciting place to be."

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