Boss Derek McInnes today challenged the Dons to continue to prove there is more to the Scottish Premiership than the big-spending Old Firm.
Aberdeen today host Kilmarnock with both sides having moved to within touching distance of league leaders Celtic.
Second-placed Killie are just one point behind the defending champions with the Reds a further two back.
Victory for the Dons today would leapfrog McInnes’ side into second spot.
McInnes accepts at the start of every season there is a general assumption Celtic and Rangers will dominate due to their far superior spending power.
The Glasgow two have splashed the cash again in the January window.
Celtic have secured Vakoun Issouf Bayo on a £2 million transfer from Dunajska Streda, as well as loan deals for Oliver Burke (West Brom) and Timothy Weah (Paris Saint-Germain).
Rangers have landed high-profile loan deals this month for Premier League duo Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth) and Steven Davis (Southampton).
There may be a chasm in finances between the Dons and the Old Firm but McInnes, pictured, is determined there will be no gulf in the league.
He said: “Just because something is expected doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.
“That is the challenge for us and the other teams. To try to make a fist of it as we have done to an extent over the last wee while.
“It is natural for the majority of people to make that assumption (that it will be Celtic and Rangers) due to their resources.
“Certainly in the last two, three seasons, since Rangers came back up, their resource is more than other teams have.
“So you expect that to play a part over a calendar season.
“Celtic are obviously up there as well being the team to beat over the last while.
“However, we have to make sure we are still relevant.”
Fourth-placed Aberdeen moved level on points with Rangers following the 3-0 midweek win away to Hamilton.
Rangers were dumped 2-1 by in-form Kilmarnock who have been transformed from strugglers near the bottom of the table to pushing at the top since Steve Clarke arrived last October.
Just three points separate the top four sides with only 16 games remaining.
However, McInnes is downplaying any notion of being immersed in a Premiership title bid and instead has emphasised the importance of focusing solely on each upcoming game.
He said: “It is just about winning the game.
“It is just a case of getting on with the job and trying to chalk up the next three points.
“If we can get to the 30-game mark and still be in and around things then we can say with certainty that we are in with a chance of competing here.
“That will be when it is into the final stretch, that business end as there will be eight games left.
“But at the minute it is important we just stay focused, get on with the job and knuckle down.”
Kilmarnock have also launched their own assault at the top of the table under Clarke.
McInnes said: “Everyone would recognise that the more teams that are competing in any league the better.
“You have to say now that it is not a flash in the pan with Kilmarnock. We are 22 games in and Kilmarnock have been very consistent for a long time now, over a year or so.
“A lot of teams can be that for five or six weeks but it is far more difficult to sustain it. It is testament to a lot of the good work being done at Kilmarnock.”
Aberdeen will have leading scorer Sam Cosgrove fit to face Killie today.
Cosgrove has netted nine goals in the last seven Premiership games. He was substituted with a tight calf late on at Hamilton as a precaution but is good to go for today’s clash.
McInnes said: “Sam is fine. He just got a wee tightness in his calf so it was a precaution.
“Sam could have stayed on but we took him off in light of the fixtures coming up.”
Winger Connor McLennan could return to contention from a tight hamstring and Mark Reynolds is also available.