Andy Considine admits Aberdeen have some way to go to fulfil their ambitions this season.
The Dons are currently fourth in the Premiership with Motherwell occupying third spot, which guarantees a Europa League place.
The Reds have, however, progressed to the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup, where they will face St Mirren in Paisley on Saturday.
Under manager Derek McInnes Aberdeen have qualified for the Europa League in each of the last six seasons.
But finishing fourth wouldn’t guarantee a return to continental competition, the Dons would be dependent on Celtic or Rangers winning the Scottish Cup.
Considine doesn’t want to be relying on that and wants the Reds to secure third in the league and earn another crack at the Europa League.
But an upturn in form will be required. Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Ross County was Aberdeen’s fourth straight Premiership loss at Pittodrie.
Since returning from the winter break last month the Dons have won only once in seven league games.
Veteran Considine knows an improvement is needed and the defender, 32, said: “We all feel there is a good bit of work to do in the league to get to where we want to be.
“There were maybe only half of the games in the first half of the season where we played like the Aberdeen team we know.
“I feel we’ve scraped through quite a lot of football in the last 18 months or so and still got results.
“There have been a lot of changes in the past couple of years.
“There have been a lot of boys leaving and a lot of boys coming in and it does take time to gel. Unfortunately this season as well we’ve been hit with a lot of injuries at times, which doesn’t help.
“But this is our profession, to play football, and we all know the type of football we want to play on a regular basis.
“But it’s going on the pitch and producing it. We’ve got the ability to do it and we’ve got the ability to push Rangers and Celtic as far as possible.
“It looks hard to catch Rangers and Celtic, but after that we want to be at the top of the pack.
“We want to be back in Europe next season and have another crack.
“A great Scottish Cup run would be ideal as well, so those are the targets for the rest of the season.”
Considine can’t understand why the Dons have struggled to click since returning from the winter break.
He sees the sharpness of the Aberdeen squad day to day in training and wants it to be translated into games.
The stopper added: “Hopefully things will click because the manager, Tony Docherty and the coaching staff work tirelessly to make sure we know our jobs on a Saturday.
“The boys have been sharp (since) coming back from Dubai and we know what’s asked of us day to day and every week.
“It’s making sure we’re concentrating for the next few months and making sure we get the job done.”
Considine is one of a number of players within the Aberdeen squad who have experience of securing European football on multiple occasions.
The Pittodrie youth academy graduate, Niall McGinn and Shay Logan have been involved in every campaign under McInnes that has resulted in European qualification.
Considine believes that know-how could be important during the Premiership run-in.
He said: “Europe helps because of the experience you gain from playing in Europe.
“It would be good to go further and do what Celtic and Rangers have been doing and play in the group stages. It would be great to experience that again.
“We’ve got plenty of experience in the squad, which should see us through the rest of the season to qualify for Europe.”