Sam Cosgrove has already made quite an impression on Burnley’s backline, but Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is hoping someone who cost less than most English Premier League players’ weekly wage will make sure they never forget him on Thursday night at Turf Moor.

McInnes toiled in vain to sign a striker to replace Adam Rooney in time for the Europa League second-round qualifier, including having a £250,000 bid for Doncaster Rovers front-man John Marquis rejected. Inquiries for Preston North End pair Eoin Doyle and Louis Moult also came to nothing so instead Cosgrove led the line six months after being plucked from the obscurity of Carlisle United’s reserves for just £20,000.

The 21-year-old certainly didn’t disappoint with a display that clearly rattled a defence bettered only by Manchester City, Manchester United and Spurs in terms of goals conceded on their travels in the world’s richest division last season.

So much so in fact that England international James Tarkowski

clattered into Cosgrove to give away the first-half penalty Gary Mackay-Steven converted on the way to an eventual

1-1 draw.

The only way things could get better as far as McInnes is concerned is if Cosgrove’s first competitive goal for the club turned out to be the winner on Thursday to really give Burnley something to remember him by.

“Sam was 20 grand from Carlisle reserves so we don’t want to put too much on him, but he is learning quickly,” McInnes said. “He was up against an England international in James Tarkowski, a Premier League player for the last few seasons and a brilliant operator at centre-back. Sam did really well and the Burnley defenders in general will certainly remember having played against him.

“He is getting better and better and he was very important for us. Even on the sports science side of things we are physically getting him better. We are getting him more equipped tactically and trying to fine tune his game but he has got the good raw materials.

“He is no slouch, a good size and he just needs to be a wee bit cuter with his work at the right times and see the importance of not just being a team player but getting amongst the goals.”

Of course Sam Vokes’ late leveller at Pittodrie leaves Aberdeen needing to score at least one goal if they are going to progress to the third round of Europa League qualifying for a fifth successive season. That won’t be easy against a side who finished seventh in the English Premier League last season but the Dons have won more European ties away from home than they have at Pittodrie since McInnes took over.

However, the Aberdeen manager is still trying to assemble his squad and new fewer than six of his starting XI made their European debuts for the club in the first-leg tie against Burnley. One of those new to continental competition, Dominic Ball, believes their collective performance proved the Scottish Premiership is in no way

inferior to its equivalent south of the border. The Englishman is well aware of how some of his fellow countrymen view the game up here and has even admitted to a few doubts himself in the past.

However, as soon as he joined Rangers three years ago he realised those fears were misplaced and the Rotherham United midfielder is enjoying a third loan spell in Scotland and a second with the Dons. Now he hopes Thursday’s draw will have changed more minds in England with the only disappointment being the Scottish side’s failure to take a lead to Turf Moor.

“Of course the performance reflects well on Scottish football. It is a good result for us,” he said. “They’re a top team but we’ve gone up against them and done really well and had a good chance to actually win it. I think we showed the quality of Scottish football and the quality of Aberdeen as a team.

“I think we will score down there but we should have scored at least two at home. They might have kept possession but we had more, and better, chances than they did so it’s disappointing not to have the second goal to take with us.

“We dropped off a bit and gave them a bit too much respect in possession second half and I was a bit disappointed with the goal.

“We’ll be prepared and go out there and give it our best.”