HIS focus is firmly on the difficult Scottish Cup quarter-final against Dundee United at Pittodrie this afternoon and not what the future holds for him when his loan deal with Aberdeen runs out.

But Florian Kamberi admits he has been impressed by the groundwork which is being laid in the north-east for next season and beyond – Stephen Glass has been appointed manager, Allan Russell has come in as his assistant and Scott Brown is set to join as player/coach - and has acknowledged that he could improve as a player by returning.

The Albanian forward, whose extra-time equaliser in the cup win over Livingston eight days ago took that last 16 match to penalties, has certainly enjoyed working under Glass and Russell in the past 10 days.

Russell, a journeyman professional with Hamilton, St Mirren, Partick Thistle, Airdrie and Kilmarnock in his playing days, is combining his new role at Aberdeen with his other job as specialist striker coach with England and will be at the Euro 2020 finals this summer.

Kamberi can understand why the Scot operates at such a high level in the international game and believes that he can become even more clinical in the final third thanks to his expertise. 

“I think if you look at how many goals I’ve scored and the performances I’ve given, I’ve proved that I can play football,” he said.

“It’s not always easy, you have to be consistent and always give performances. But I think I have showed in the last three years in Scotland, with the goals and performances, that I can be proud of myself.

“At the end of the day, it’s about you. You have to be confident, stay calm and never be disappointed if something isn’t happening. I’m still young, I know exactly what I have to do and I’m going to do it.

“But I know it’s still not enough. I always want more. There’s always things that you want to improve and with the right people, the right coaching staff, you can get better.”

Kamberi continued: “The training sessions have been good since the first day (that Glass arrived). The training sessions are great, especially for us forwards with Allan doing striker drills almost every day. I think we can learn a lot from them.

“From the first day, he (Russell) has been giving us tips about action in the final third. The first touch is the most important touch to have the chance to score a goal. The finishing drills are very good.

“He wouldn’t be with the English national team if he didn’t understand the game and he’s training world class strikers like Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford. I think everyone at the club is delighted to have a guy like that here.

“I’ve never had a specific striker coach before so I’m delighted with this. I will try to take all the benefits that working with him will give me and the team.”

The 26-year-old has enjoyed good spells at both Hibernian and Rangers as well as Aberdeen in the past three years, but is unsure what will happen when he returns to St Gallen in his native Switzerland after this season ends. 

“People like me here, so I can’t complain about that,” he said. “I’ve had a great time since I first came to Hibs. There are always ups and downs, but I’m very happy I came to Scotland. I’ve shown what I can do here, I’ve scored goals.

“But I have big ambitions. As a football player you always want to go forward and that’s what I’m trying to do. I came here to play football. As a young player, if you’re not playing then you won’t move your career forward.

“When I heard I had the chance to come here to play for Derek McInnes and Aberdeen, it was a no-brainer for me. I’m very happy to be here now. I’m playing every game, getting sharper and showing what I can do. That’s what it’s all about.”

Kamberi continued: “I don’t have a thought what might happen in the summer because in football you never know what lies ahead. You can’t plan something.

“I’m just really focused on every game. I’ll do all I can to help the team and score goals. After the season is finished, we’ll see what direction my career takes.

“Of course, with Stephen Glass, Allan Russell and Scott Brown coming to the club, it’s a statement that they want to build something here. I’m not thinking too far into the future. I’m just focusing game by game, then we will see if good things happen.”

Kamberi endured a difficult season back in his homeland; he was an infrequent starter at St Gallen, contracted coronavirus in November and was then loaned out to Aberdeen in January. He found returning to football tough. 

“It’s not easy when you haven’t played for six months,” he said. "Before that had four or five months off because of the pandemic. It’s not easy but I keep working hard in training and doing extra stuff in the gym. You just have to believe in yourself that you can get there.”

Kamberi thinks Aberdeen have an excellent opportunity to beat United and progress to the final of the Scottish Cup if they can reproduce their display against Celtic on Wednesday evening and be more ruthless in front of goal.

“If we keep working and playing like we did in midweek, we have a very good chance of getting to the final,” he said as he looked back on the 1-1 draw. “But first we have to beat Dundee United, then it’s the semi-final at Hampden. For now, the focus is all on trying to win against United.

“We should have won against Celtic. But that what’s happens against a team with the quality like Celtic — you just leave them for one second and they punish you (Leigh Griffiths scored an injury-time equaliser). We still have to be positive and take our game into the match against Dundee United.”