Skipper Graeme Shinnie today challenged the Dons to rocket back into the Premiership’s top six before the Betfred Cup final.
Scotland international Shinnie admits Aberdeen’s league position of eighth is not good enough for a side who have finished runners-up for the last four seasons.
Aberdeen delivered a massive boost to the campaign by dumping Rangers 1-0 in the Betfred Cup semi last weekend.
Their reward is a return to Hampden for a final showdown against holders Celtic on Sunday December 2.
Before the Reds bid to emulate the League Cup-winning heroics of 2014, they have three league matches, starting with in-form Kilmarnock at Rugby Park tomorrow.
Shinnie is determined to have the Reds back where they belong at the top end of the table before leading them at Hampden.
He said: “There are teams above us in the table that we have to start beating, such as Kilmarnock.
“We want to start climbing the league because it has been a frustrating season so far.
“There have been some good points and some bad points so far as we have not really got into our groove.
“Confidence is high coming off the back of that semi-final win and then carrying that on to get another win against Hamilton.
“It was important for the team, the squad and the club to get to another cup final and have the chance of winning silverware.
“Now we have secured two good results and we want to keep that momentum going so Kilmarnock is a game we are desperate to win.
“It is a big game for us as it offers the chance to close the gap on someone above us. Ideally the game at Kilmarnock will kick us on to a good run.
“Our focus is now back on the league and trying to climb the table as much as we can, then all our focus will be on the cup final when that comes around.”
Being outwith the top six is not the norm for the Reds under the guidance of boss Derek McInnes.
This time last season, after 10 games the Dons were sitting in second place on 23 points, just three behind leaders Celtic.
After 10 games Aberdeen now have 15 points.
Shinnie, 27, reckons an injury crisis, which the Reds are moving out of, has been a mitigating factor in the inconsistent form.
At one point eight players were out injured but the majority are now back and available.
He said: “We have had a lot of injuries. At the start of the season it was the defenders out as we lost players like Scott (McKenna) and Tommie Hoban.
“Then after the Celtic game we lost three or four front players so the team had to be changed throughout the season.
“A lot of the boys are back now and the gaffer has a good pool to choose from. It is about carrying on momentum.”
In the previous clash with Killie this season Dons defender Mikey Devlin was red carded after just four minutes. It was a blow Aberdeen did not recover from as they lost 2-0.
Shinnie said: “Kilmarnock were good against us up here albeit we were down to 10 men.
“They took advantage of that really well. Kilmarnock have players who can hurt you so we will have to be on top of our game if we are going to get the win.”
Shinnie’s contract expires at the end of the season and he will be free to speak to any interested clubs when the winter transfer window opens on January 1.
Aberdeen have tabled a deal that would make him one of the top earners at the club.
On his future, Shinnie said: “I am just trying to focus on my football. There have been some big games and there are also big ones coming up.
“It is something that will take its time but will work itself out eventually.”