Boss Derek McInnes has challenged Aberdeen to rally from their Dingwall horror show by reclaiming third spot in the Premiership.
McInnes accepts he cannot “dress up” the disappointment of losing 4-1 to Ross County.
The Staggies were bottom of the table prior to inflicting the heavy defeat of Aberdeen.
With just one point from the last three league games, the stuttering Reds have lost third spot in the Premiership table to Hibs.
We know if we can win our games in hand it takes us back to third spot.
“We still have loads to play for, but we cannot dress it up as it was a bad afternoon for us.”
Aberdeen host Motherwell on Saturday boosted by confirmation injuries to Jonny Hayes and Ash Taylor suffered in Dingwall are not as bad as initially feared.
Both Hayes and Taylor could be fit to face ‘Well.
With Hibs inactive in the Premiership at the weekend due to League Cup semi-final duty, it offers the chance to take back third.
McInnes aims to take it.
He said: “We know if we can win our games in hand it takes us back to third spot.
“We still have loads to play for, but we cannot dress it up as it was a bad afternoon for us.
“However, we have been pretty consistent throughout this season.
“We clearly have to look at some sections of the Ross County game as we have to defend some situations much better.
“We dust ourselves down and move on to Motherwell and hopefully get a positive result.”
Aberdeen have received positive news regarding the fitness of Ross McCrorie, Jonny Hayes and Ash Taylor.
Scotland Under-21 captain McCrorie and wing-back Hayes both left Dingwall on crutches whilst Taylor was substituted after 30 minutes with a back spasm.
In the aftermath of the defeat at Ross County, McInnes admitted he feared the worst over the injuries to Hayes and McCrorie.
Midfielder McCrorie was sent for a scan on Sunday as the Dons could not get him seen immediately after the game due to Covid-19 restrictions at hospitals.
There were initial fears McCrorie had suffered a fracture, but those were proven to be unfounded by the X-ray, which did, however, confirm muscle damage around the ankle.
McCrorie will be ruled out two to three weeks.
McInnes initially feared the Scotland U21 captain could be sidelined for up to three months.
Thankfully, following an X-ray, there was no fracture on Ross’s ankle, but what’s come to light is that he’s punctured the muscle surrounding the ankle and it will mean two to three weeks out.”
McCrorie battled through the pain barrier for the final minutes in Dingwall as the Dons had used all three substitute breaks allocated to them and could not make another change.
McInnes said: “Thankfully, following an X-ray there was no fracture on Ross’s ankle, but what’s come to light is that he’s punctured the muscle surrounding the ankle and it will mean two to three weeks out, rather than the two to three months which we were anticipating, so that’s great news.”
Hayes limped off after an hour with an ankle injury and Taylor was replaced after 30 minutes complaining of a back spasm.
The injuries to both are not as serious as initially feared and it is hoped they will settle down enough to allow them to be available for the weekend.
McInnes said: “Jonny is off his crutches and we are working to get the swelling reduced, so we can assess how he will be for this weekend.
“Ash is still having some issues with his back, so we’re waiting to see how he responds this week, but he’s got a lot to do before he’s fit for Saturday.
“Greg Leigh is back training and Dylan McGeouch is improving, so we hope he will get back to training in a week or so.”
However, Connor McLennan has been sent to see a consultant regarding a foot issue.
Meanwhile, Stoke City reportedly had striker Sam Cosgrove watched in the 2-1 defeat to Rangers.
Cosgrove, 24, has 18 months left on his Dons deal.
The striker turned down a £2.7m transfer to side Guingamp last summer.
Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill has admitted he will have to sell players during the window before he can make any signings.
O’Neill said: “Certainly there are not any more (signings) coming in at this minute in time.
“We’re not totally in control of that situation.
“If we do anything further in the transfer market, I think it will be driven by if anyone leaves the building or not.”