Barry Robson has defended his recruitment policy ahead of this week's daunting trip to face Eintracht Frankfurt after a disastrous start to the season.

Aberdeen are only kept off bottom place in the Premiership by a single goal and have won just one game all season - a narrow victory at Stirling Albion in the Viaplay Cup.

It's the worst start to a season since 1999 during the dark days of the late Ebbe Skovdahl when it took Aberdeen until the end of October to win their first win in the league having lost their opening seven games back then with the first six games seeing them fail to even score.

Aberdeen went on to finish bottom of the league that season, although the relegation play-off - which was supposed to be between the bottom-placed team in the top flight and the top two in the old First Division - was scrapped that term because of Falkirk's inability to meet the then-stadium requirements of 10,000 seats.

Fast forward 24 years and the Pittodrie board sanctioned a hefty investment in the playing staff that saw Robson bring in 13 players - ten new arrivals and three loans made permanent.

They are internationals ranging from New Zealand wing back James McGarry to Finland central defender Richard Jensen, but they have yet to click and the Dons fans turned on the players and management during their tame 2-0 loss at Hearts at the weekend.

And, ahead of Thursday's Europa Conference League opener, Robson explained why he actively scoured the foreign markets instead of shopping at home this summer and mostly avoided the loan market too.

He said: "You get priced out of England because it’s far too expensive, and it’s far too expensive in Scotland now too. So you have to try to be bright with your recruitment and that’s what we’ve tried to be.

"You can see a squad of Aberdeen players, not loan players. First and foremost, I think the fans want to see an Aberdeen team, not a loan team. Over the last few years, for whatever reason, we have turned over twelve or thirteen players every summer.

"That doesn’t work. We want to get to the stage where you’re changing two or three in windows and be ahead of the game.

"Loans are important, I get that, and we will use the loan market but I just like the look of us being an Aberdeen team.

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"They are our players. They have their families here, they have got homes here. That’s what I want to build...unity within the squad.

"The other thing is we’re trying to build value in the squad. If they perform to what they can do, there will be a lot of players who are worth a right few quid.

"The board have been great, when I sat down and spoke to Dave Cormack, Stewart Milne and the rest of the board I told them what I thought.

"I told them we needed to build a squad who are going to be here, who we can work with over a period of time.

"That’s the model we have to work to. We can’t be taking 29 or 30-year-olds who have a history of injury. I think our average age is 23 this season. Hopefully, that brings the speed and energy we are looking for.

"Character is a big thing for me, I think it’s so important and we’ve been able to get that no matter where players have come from. We’ve had guys walk through the door and then 20 minutes later I’ve seen them bouncing around with the boys.”

"We’re trying to bring speed to the game and have that versatility when you want to change the way you’re playing. So I need players who are flexible when you want to play a three or move to a four.
"That has been a focus on our recruitment so far this summer, getting players who can play a number of roles."

Meanwhile, Eintracht Frankfurt star man Eric Dina Ebimbe has revealed he will use lessons learned from the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at PSG after his £6 million transfer this summer.

He said: "It quickly became clear to me that I wanted to learn a lot from them. I watched them, studied them, saw what I could take from them and implemented it into my game.

"A lot can also be adapted in terms of professionalism and lifestyle from studying them.

"We have the players in the squad who are able to play every three days and we will show that starting against Aberdeen on Thursday."