Teenage midfield star Dean Campbell is confident Aberdeen can produce a winning run to overhaul Motherwell in third – and stay there.
The Dons lost valuable ground in the race for automatic European qualification when losing 1-0 to third-placed Motherwell.
The Steelmen opened up a four-point gap on Derek McInnes’ side, which is now five points after their goalless draw with Hibs yesterday.
Aberdeen are in action today (12.15pm kick-off) when facing struggling St Mirren away.
After the disappointment of losing the third-placed shoot-out with Well, Campbell, 18, accepts the game is a “must win”.
The pressure is on, especially after frustrated Dons fans booed the team at full-time against Motherwell. But Campbell is confident the Reds will deliver.
He said: “We have shown against Motherwell that we can beat them and it is 1-1 in the head-to-heads this season.
“We are confident we can go on a run of wins to get back above Motherwell and stay there.
“We still have plenty to play for this season and the battle for third is huge for us.
“We want to qualify for Europe like we have done for the last several years.
“That is a huge focus for us and we also have the Scottish Cup. Although we have a tough home tie against Kilmarnock, we want to go all the way and win the trophy.”
The defeat to Motherwell underlined Aberdeen’s paucity in front of goal as for the second game in succession they struggled to convert chances.
Scotland Under-21 international Campbell confirmed Aberdeen assistant Tony Docherty has been working hard on shooting drills with the strikers in preparation for St Mirren.
Campbell said: “We have been creating chances but have not managed to find the net on a regular basis.
“When our chances come we have to take them and that has been a focus for us in training this week.
“I work on a bit of everything in training and obviously as a midfielder it is important to improve my all-round game.
“A couple of times a week I will work on finishing.
“The strikers are doing finishing every day and Tony Docherty always has shooting drills for them. It is something they are all working on.
“We will be ready to take our chances when we play St Mirren.”
Although St Mirren are struggling in the bottom half of the Premiership, Aberdeen suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to them in Paisley back in August.
Campbell believes there were mitigating factors for that defeat as the Reds had lost 2-0 away to HNK Rijeka in Croatia just days previously in the Europa League third qualifying round first leg.
He said: “We are approaching St Mirren as a ‘must win’ game as we really need to bounce back from the result against Motherwell. We need to go on a run of wins.
“All our focus is on getting the three points at St Mirren.
“We will keep that defeat to St Mirren in mind, although that came off the back of a midweek game where there was maybe a bit of fatigue.
“This time we know what we are up against and are going out to get the right result.”
Campbell is hoping to establish himself in a midfield that has been bolstered by recent signing Dylan McGeouch.
The Scotland international arrived earlier in the January transfer window on a two-and-a-half year deal from League One Sunderland.
Campbell said: “I am relatively happy with the season so far as I have played a lot of minutes for an 18-year-old.
“There are not a lot of 18-year-olds who have played as many minutes in Scotland in the top division as I have.
“I have been happy in some of the games I have played and there have been mistakes in others.
“It is all about learning for me as well. So far so good, and I am hoping to continue to keep getting minutes and pushing my way in the first team.”