Dons boss Derek McInnes has urged those players set to exit Pittodrie in the summer to leave their team-mates with European football next season.
The fight for a sixth successive European qualification is all that is left from a campaign that at times had promised so much but will yet again deliver no silverware.
The Scottish Cup bid crashed at Hampden in a 3-0 defeat to holders Celtic where four Dons, including McInnes and assistant manager Tony Docherty, were sent off.
Retaining the league runners-up spot is effectively beyond the Reds with Rangers holding a commanding eight-point lead and superior goal difference with five games left.
When the season finishes, McInnes faces a summer of rebuilding with a number of first-team players set to exit the club.
As many as 11 players could call time on their Pittodrie careers following the final match of the campaign at Hibs on Sunday May 19.
Although they will not be at the club to experience the benefits of Continental action, McInnes has challenged those set to leave to deliver one final push for Europe.
He said: “There will be a lot of players leaving at the end of the season.
“There might be some wanting to leave and there might be some players going back to their parent clubs.
“But it is important that all at the club, especially the players, myself and the staff, show that enthusiasm after that disappointment (Scottish Cup semi-final loss).
“I have reminded all the players that we have five games left and it is important that we have a full responsibility now of achieving our goal of getting that European football and getting that third spot.
“We have work to do.”
Six players have contracts set to expire at the end of the season with a further five on loan set to return to their parent clubs.
The Pittodrie contracts for Scotland internationals Graeme Shinnie and Gary Mackay-Steven are both set to end. McInnes wants to retain both and captain Shinnie has been offered an attractive long-term deal.
However, both are coveted by other teams. Shinnie travelled to Derby County last week for talks with manager Frank Lampard and to be shown around Pride Park.
League One leaders Luton Town as well as second tier English sides Wigan Athletic and Bristol City are interested in Shinnie.
Rangers were reportedly interested, but If the Dons skipper, as appears likely, is to leave it will be for a move down to England.
Winger Mackay-Steven is also a target for MLS side New York City, who made an official approach to the Dons in January for permission to speak to the 28-year-old.
Long-serving defender Andy Considine is also out of contract this summer but has triggered a clause for a one-year extension due to the amount of games played. A new deal, however, has yet to be announced.
Keeper Tomas Cerny is also out of contract as is defender Mark Reynolds, who has already signed a pre-contract with Dundee United – the club he is on loan at.
Greg Halford, an emergency short-term signing due to a defensive crisis in February and yet to play, will also be out of contract.
Five loanees are set to leave – Greg Stewart (Birmingham), James Wilson (Manchester United), Dom Ball (Rotherham), Max Lowe (Derby County) and Tommie Hoban (Watford). The deals for Stewart, Wilson, Ball and Hoban at their parent clubs all expire at the end of the season.
McInnes has entered talks with Ball regarding a permanent move and is also keen on securing the long-term future of Stewart. However, Rangers look set to land the attacker for next season.
Defender Hoban is currently out injured for the next six months having undergone surgery on cruciate ligament damage sustained playing for the Dons in late February.
Hoban returned to his parent club and, although his contract will run out, the Premier League club will oversee his rehabilitation.
McInnes has previously stated he would be open to the possibility of securing Hoban on a permanent deal if that option opens up when he returns to fitness,
Hoban travelled up to Glasgow for the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Celtic and sat alongside the injured Dons players just behind the dugout at Hampden.
That defeat underlined the importance of captain Shinnie, who was suspended for the semi-final.
McInnnes will not give up hope of Shinnie committing his future to the Dons, but admits they are “up against it”.
He said: “I suppose there is a chance, but we are up against it with that one I think.”
Derby County boss Frank Lampard wants to bring Shinnie to Pride Park, but admitted a deal has not been agreed yet.
Shinnie held talks with the Rams’ boss last week before returning to the Dons camp for the Scottish Cup build-up.
McInnes will hold further talks with Shinnie in the bid to convince him to stay – or gain clarification on his future.
The Dons boss said: “There is nothing new on it (Shinnie’s situation).
“Shinnie was at the game, he was at the hotel with the team, but we haven’t actually spoke to him about his own situation.
“We plan to do so.”