Derek McInnes insists Aberdeen now have the coping mechanisms which mean they do not have to fear Scott Wright’s Pittodrie exit.
The Scotland Under-21 ace is close to agreeing a pre-contract switch to Rangers, according to Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard.
McInnes has already confessed he is resigned to the winger moving on after seeing talks on a new deal stall.
But this is not the first time the Dons boss has been forced to wave goodbye to one of his key men.
Scott McKenna was the latest to check out of the Granite City this summer as he made a £3million switch to Nottingham Forest, while the likes of Graeme Shinnie, Kenny McLean and Ryan Jack have also been prised away in recent seasons.
But Aberdeen continue to fly high in the upper reaches of the Premiership and McInnes says the days of fretting over big-name departures are long gone.
“You learn to deal with it and move on,” he said. “It’s about trying to keep those departures to a minimum.
“We’ve already lost Scott McKenna this season, who was arguably our best defender for a club record fee.
“Yet we’ve probably this season had a goals-against record that has been as good as any we’ve had.
“It shows there can be coping mechanisms. I’d much rather have Scott McKenna in my team, of course, he’s an international player who will only get better. But we deal with that the best way we can.
“Some players leave and it’s a big hole to fill. We’ll try with whatever players we lose between now and next season to carry on because that’s the way it is here. We want to develop players and move them on to bigger and better things.
“But we want that on the back of them playing and contributing to Aberdeen’s first team for a period of time. That’s the only frustration if Scott isn’t to re-sign with us. I feel that it’s that bit too early for him.”
Rangers are keen to fast forward Wright’s move to Glasgow and are willing to offer up a player exchange if a deal can be done this month.
And McInnes joked there were a couple of Gerrard’s players he would be interested in.
“Aye, Kent and Morelos!” he grinned. “Listen, there has been discussions right across the board about how a good deal would look for Aberdeen and obviously for Rangers.
“Whether it’s players involved or a fee, these are for the board to sort out. We’ll see what that looks like come the end of the window.
“Rangers or any other club can do a pre-contract with Scott at any time but from our point of view, Scott is an important part of the team and we don’t want to lose important players at this stage of the season when we’ve still got so much to play for.
“We want to improve as we go along and need as many good players as we can and Scott is one of those. It’s not in our interests to lose one of them but if we do, it’s got to be a good deal.”
The third-placed Dons travel to Dingwall on Saturday to face Ross County – and McInnes believes new boss John Hughes is the right man to lift the Staggies off the bottom of the table.
He said: “I think it’s an inspired appointment. I think John has been deserving of this opportunity. He’s been out of the top flight for too long.
“I’ve got a lot of time for John and he’s clearly the type of manager who can go in and get a reaction.
“He knows his way about a football pitch and about a dressing room. He can plot and get the desired outcome so I wish him well and I think he will do well there.”
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