Barry Robson’s appointment as Aberdeen manager was a no-brainer for Dons fans.

Eight wins from ten Premiership fixtures and an eye-catching victory over Rangers at Pittodrie last time out meant the former Dons midfielder left club owner Dave Cormack with no option but to hand him the job.

But the 44-year-old has revealed he was ahead of the game and was already planning for next season before he was upgraded from stand-in boss to permanent manager.

Robson’s rise from under-18s coach to the main role following Jim Goodwin’s sacking in January was underlined by that win over Michael Beale’s Ibrox outfit with the former Celtic, Dundee United and Scotland player expressing his pride at being entrusted with the Pittodrie reins as the 24th permanent boss since the club was founded in 1903.

He said he lived and breathed football and was not apprehensive about what lay before him as he bids to lead the Reds to a third-place finish in the Premiership campaign and with it a tilt at European football.

He knew he was heading in the right direction as a top contender for the role, given the run of seven successive victories and he began to believe it would be his, despite a long list of leading applicants keen to take over the team.

“The building for next season has already started,” he said.

“I’ve been in discussions with the recruitment team over the past couple of months about what we need to do beyond the summer.

“I want stability and balance in the club. We need to make sure we make the right decisions.”

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He spoke, too, about the intensity managers feel in today’s game and what he expects from his players.

"There's intensity in loads of different ways,” he admitted.

“Do I demand? Yes. Do I expect things done right? Yes. Do I want my players to be disciplined? Yep.

“I'm not asking them to beat five players and put it in the top corner; I'm asking them to do things that we can all do.

“That for me is a non-negotiable. Just give us everything when you are on the training pitch and live your life well when you are off it. Be disciplined. If you do that, then you have much more chance of your talent coming out.”

Talks over what will happen to key players currently on-loan at Pittodrie – Liam Scales (from Celtic), Mattie Pollock (Watford), Leighton Clarkson (Liverpool) and captain Graeme Shinnie (Wigan)  - have already started, although Robson declined to shed any light on possible outcomes.

For the time being, it is all about the here and now for Robson as he set out his expectations.

He added: “I've said it before, when everyone says it's okay to give 100 per cent, go and try and give 100 per cent all the time - it's not easy.

“But if you're a player and you want to think 'I'm not feeling it' then it's easy to fall off a little bit. It takes real talent to focus and work and give that all the time. And it's draining. And that's what I want from the players.

“The day I retired from football, it was a relief for me, because you put that much into it. That for me is what gives you every chance of being successful.”

He looked back on a stellar playing career that ended at Aberdeen seven years ago with a day off before taking up a coaching role with the Dons.

He said: “In the playing days maybe some of your friends were going out for a curry on a Thursday night and you say ‘I can’t because I have a game’.

“You are thinking about your body and I always had to feel like I had to sleep really well, to be at my maximum when I played.

“That is not as bad now as I can go and have a McDonalds with the kids now or I can have a Chinese now and again. I might have one tonight.

“But then the guilt is still in you because I always get up the next day
and go for a run.

“That always stays with you. It is a good thing, but also a bad thing.

“Now as a coach there are different demands.

“When I go home at night and I’m lying in my bed I’m thinking have I done enough today?

“Have I given the right message? Have we worked hard enough?”