Aberdeen's Ryan Hedges reckons former Carlisle United hitman Sam Cosgrove can fire the Dons to another win in their latest Europa League qualifier in Rijeka.

Cosgrove continued his blistering start to the season with a double in Sunday’s 3-2 Scottish Premiership win over Hearts for Derek McInnes’s men.

Hedges was also on target as 22-year-old Cosgrove took his tally to eight goals in five games this term and 27 in 33 matches since December, having signed for the Scottish side from Carlisle in January last year for a fee believed to be in the region of £40,000.

Tomorrow, Aberdeen face Croatian outfit HNK Rijeka in their Europa League third qualifying round first-leg tie (7pm kick-off).

And Wales international Hedges is hoping Cosgrove’s red-hot run continues.

"You can see in games, and especially in training, what he can do and the goals he can produce," Hedges said of Cosgrove.

"When you’ve got players pushing him on like Curtis Main and Bruce Anderson, it makes him a better player. Eight goals in five games is not a bad return for anybody.

"I think his first goal against Hearts showed the quality that he’s got and the pace that he possesses. Sometimes, you probably would label him as a target man but he’s got many more strings in his bow. That’s been proven."

"It’s not a bad confidence booster to have – if you get the ball to him he’s going to score," Hedges, who joined the Pittodrie Stadium outfit from Barnsley this summer, told The Evening Express.

"The squad as a whole is high in confidence and, if Sam can keep banging them in and everybody around him keeps chipping in, there’s no reason we can’t go to Rijeka and get a result.

"They’re coming in as a third-round seed, so that’s something we need to look at. We know their qualities and we know they’re a good team, but we’ve shown we’re more than capable of going there and getting something."

Four years ago, Aberdeen beat HNK Rijeka 3-0 away from home and 5-2 on aggregate, but just Andy Considine, Shay Logan, Ash Taylor and Niall McGinn remain from the triumph against Rijeka in 2015.

Ahead of the tie, Hedges has also spoken to Leicester goalkeeper and Welsh international team-mate Danny Ward about the Reds’ win four years ago.

"I’ve spoken to Danny Ward about the last time Aberdeen played there," he added.

"Ash and Andy have said that when they went there the first time that they were about 40 or 50 games unbeaten at home.

"They won 3-0, so why can’t we do the same?"