Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has tried not to look at the Premiership table because he didn’t like what he saw.
For much of this campaign the Reds have been rooted in the bottom six.
It is unfamiliar territory for a Dons side who have finished Premiership runners-up to Celtic over four successive seasons.
Aberdeen returned to the top six courtesy of a 3-2 win over Livingston at Pittodrie.
Now McInnes has challenged the Reds to consolidate that position and pile the pressure on the teams above them by seeing off the league’s bottom two.
That begins with a trip to bottom side St Mirren on Saturday before hosting second bottom Dundee at Pittodrie on Tuesday.
McInnes said: “I have tried not to look at the league table because I don’t like seeing the team where it is.
“But I am also realistic to know if we just knuckle down and get the job done, it will start to look better for us towards the end of the month. That is the hope and what we are trying to strive for.
“We have shown some inconsistencies in the league but if we win our game in hand (Dundee) next week when no one else is playing and win on Saturday, we can go up to the top end of the table where we expect ourselves to be.
“If we win those games we will be up there level with Hearts and maybe a point behind Kilmarnock.”
Aberdeen have five league games remaining before the end of the month and the Premiership goes into a winter shutdown.
Three of those matches are at home with the Reds facing Dundee on Tuesday, Hearts on December 22 and defending champions Celtic on Boxing Day. McInnes believes the Red Army can play a key role in those home matches.
The Pittodrie boss was impressed with the supporters’ backing throughout against Livingston, as an injury-time over-head kick from Lewis Ferguson secured victory.
McInnes said: “The crowd stayed with the team throughout against Livingston.
“They saw the passion and effort from the players.
“When the fans and players are working as one, Pittodrie is a tough place to come to.
“Livingston felt under pressure from the intensity of the team and the noise levels from the sides.
“Everyone played their part.
“On Saturday, against St Johnstone (a 2-0 loss), it was so quiet and the players commented on it. However, it was a bit of a turgid, flat game.
“That was a flat atmosphere with a lot of tired players.
“I don’t know if the crowd were tired on Saturday as well, although I know it wasn’t a great spectacle. Against Livingston it was the polar opposite.
“Whether that is a midweek thing I don’t know, but it seemed to be better.”