Aberdeen must be ready to scrap it out at Fir Park tomorrow or suffer another defeat from an all-action Motherwell side.
A lack of aggression and urgency from the Dons was brutally punished by a ’Well side who were in their faces from the first whistle.
The Steelmen chased down every ball and played at a furious tempo with no let-up.
Aberdeen were poor, but that was also down to ’Well’s tactics not allowing the Reds a second to relax in possession.
Motherwell’s game plan this season under boss Steve Robinson has been to utilise pressing, high-tempo tactics.
It has been highly effective and the Dons were well warned by Derek McInnes before the 3-0 League Cup quarter-final loss.
Aberdeen can expect the same again when they go head to head at Fir Park in Premiership action tomorrow. They are in for a real battle and the visitors must show far more hunger and intent.
Quite simply, Motherwell wanted that semi-final slot at Hampden more and ran themselves into the ground to get there.
Tomorrow the Dons must show they want three points more, to continue their undefeated start to the Premiership season.
Aberdeen had suffered poor second-half performances in the recent draws against Kilmarnock and Hearts.
Being overpowered by Motherwell should be a wake- up call that can re-invigorate the flat Reds.
It will have been particularly frustrating for boss McInnes that Louis Moult was ’Well’s main orchestrator.
Aberdeen had bids of £250,000 and £350,000 rejected by Motherwell for the striker during the summer transfer window but couldn’t afford Motherwell’s £500,000 asking price.
That looks like a bargain now as Moult underlined exactly why McInnes wanted him with a superb display.
After losing out on Moult the Dons snapped up Stevie May from Preston North End when he became available again.
I have no doubt May will become a major goalscorer for the Reds as he is a fantastic talent. He has already scored three quality goals since his summer move and there will be many more to come this season.
However, he needs service and that was sorely missing in the cup defeat, with a lack of penetration down the flanks.