Defender Max Lowe remains confident Aberdeen will secure European qualification – after a kick up the backside at Tynecastle.
The Reds were overtaken in the race for Europe after blowing a half-time lead to crash 2-1 at Hearts.
Kilmarnock punished Aberdeen’s inconsistent league form by leapfrogging them into the third spot that delivers Euro qualification.
The Dons have taken just two points from the last 12 but Lowe insists there is no panic.
On loan from Derby County, the left-back accepts a side like Aberdeen must be in Europe every season.
And he intends to deliver that – with the first step seeing off Motherwell at Pittodrie tomorrow for a first home league win since December 22.
On dropping out of the European qualification spot, he said: “It is not a concern.
“We need to back ourselves to get back in there in that spot.
“Aberdeen are a massive club that need to be in Europe.
“If you look at our squad we are more than strong enough to do that.”
Aberdeen’s form since the winter shutdown has been of contrasting extremes – dominant away from home, struggling at Pittodrie.
That fragility at home has put a sixth successive European qualification in doubt.
The away form had somewhat limited the damage of that home slump.
But that ended at Tynecastle as the Dons blew a half-time lead – a wake-up call that Lowe insists will be heeded.
He said: “We needed a kick up the backside and have been needing that it feels like every game we have played when you are not winning at home.
“That Motherwell game is crucial for us now.
“Motherwell got a win on Saturday and will be confident, especially when looking at our result.
“We know it is not going to be an easy task.
“The fans expect us to win and we need to finally show them a bit more than we did at Tynecastle.
“They came out in their numbers and we didn’t show up.”
Lowe will return to Derby when his loan deal, which was extended in January, expires at the end of the season.
However, he wants to exit Pittodrie in the knowledge the club will be competing on the continental stage.
Aberdeen were backed by a vocal 1,551 travelling Red Army at Tynecastle as the Dons attempted to extend an unbeaten away run to 10 games.
They were on course for that when leading 1-0 at half-time through a Connor McLennan goal only to concede twice after the break.
“The blame is on us as we were not good enough man for man on the pitch,” said Lowe.
“At times we were probably lucky it was only 2-1. We have to look at ourselves and move on quickly because the fans deserve more than that.”
Aberdeen’s wait for a Premiership win at Pittodrie has now stretched to beyond three months.
During that home slump they have dropped points to teams battling relegation, losing to Hamilton and drawing with St Mirren.
Lowe is perplexed at the Pittodrie dip.
He said: “That is the confusing thing as we beat the best teams in the league away from home and keep clean sheets against them on a regular basis.
“Coming back at home it has not really been the same.
“We have to start off like we did at Tynecastle but it is about doing it for the 90 minutes.
“As soon as the second half started it became like a game of two halves.
“They had a couple of chances before their first goal to be fair and Hearts probably deserved the win.
“We didn’t really create much in the second half or really put their goal under threat.
“If everybody is at it and everybody is doing the best they can do individually for 90 minutes we would easily have won at Hearts.”