Lewis Ferguson believes Aberdeen belong in the Premiership’s top three and he wants to show why – starting with today’s game against St Mirren.
It has been a patchy start to the league season for the Dons with nine points amassed from seven games.
That run has included two wins and three draws for the Reds and has resulted in them sitting seventh in the table.
Injuries to important players like Scott McKenna, James Wilson, Ferguson and Niall McGinn, as well as suspensions for Shay Logan and Mikey Devlin, haven’t helped Aberdeen early in the season.
But now Ferguson feels it is time for the Dons to kick on and climb towards the top.
The 19-year-old said: “It has been a patchy start. We’ve got nine points from seven games and are seventh in the league.
“That’s nowhere near our standards so we’d like to keep putting points on the board and climb the table.
“We want to be challenging at the top because we don’t belong in the bottom six at all.
“We belong in the top three so hopefully we can start performing and put points on the board to climb the table.”
Ferguson is returning from injury after spending three weeks on the sidelines with a sprained cruciate ligament.
The midfielder is pleased to be back and is hoping to return to Derek McInnes’ team this afternoon.
He added: “Injuries and suspensions make it more difficult for the team to gel.
“Look at myself, I was playing and enjoying it and then I get an injury and it’s really frustrating because it puts a downer on you.
“I was in the gym with Mark Reynolds, Scott Wright and Danny Rogers so they always kept my spirits high and kept me laughing with the physios.
“The boys were brilliant and credit to Tony Tompos and Adam Stokes, the physios, because they’ve worked as hard as me.
“They’ve been in when everybody else has been off working with the other injured boys to get us back fit so credit goes to them for putting me through my paces.
“It was a sprain on my cruciate ligament so they thought it would be four weeks and it’s been three.
“I’m happy with that. I’ve never had an injury like that before, it’s always just been wee knocks.
“I thought when it happened I would just be out for a couple of days so I was disappointed to see it like that.
“I’m thankful to be back and thankful to the physios.
“It is frustrating just sitting watching the boys playing.
“When I was watching I was dying to get out there, but these things happen in football.
“I just had to get on with it and work hard to get myself back fit because it wasn’t good watching from the sides.”
With the competition at Pittodrie Ferguson knows he won’t walk straight back into the team.
He said: “There are good players here who are all wanting to get in the team. There are experienced players here like Stephen Gleeson and Chris Forrester.
“They were on the bench last week and they are two experienced midfielders. Then you’ve had the likes of Graeme Shinnie and Dom Ball playing well.
“It’s hard to get back into the starting 11, but I’ve trained well and if I get to play hopefully I can do well and remain in the team.”
Aberdeen have faced St Mirren already this term. The Dons thumped them 4-0 in August’s League Cup last-16 tie.
Ferguson says they can take confidence from that display.
He said: “The last time we played them here we came out of the blocks flying and just kind of ran over the top of them in the first half.
“We were excellent in the first half and they couldn’t really deal with us.
“If we can do that today and try to put them under real pressure that will help.
“It does give you confidence for this game because we know we are capable of doing that and it’s the same team.
“We know what we can do and we know what St Mirren are like so we’ll try to exploit their weaknesses this time.”