Dons boss Derek McInnes today reassured the Red Army there will be NO hangover from their Scottish Cup exit.
Aberdeen crashed out 3-0 to Motherwell at the semi-final stage at Hampden.
It was the second time this season the Steelmen had killed off the Reds’ trophy hopes having beaten them 3-0 in the League Cup last September.
Aberdeen’s only hope of salvaging something from the season is to finish runners-up in the Premiership for a fourth successive campaign.
McInnes warned Rangers and Hibs will view it as “game on” in the hunt for second, so there can be no after-effects from the semi.
There is more than just pride at stake in the race for second – it is worth an extra £320,000.
Second spot brings £2.28m in prize money with a drop to £1.96m for third.
Aberdeen are level on points with second-placed Rangers who hold a superior goal difference – with five games remaining.
McInnes said: “There won’t be any hangover for me, the staff and the players.
“We have all got to knuckle down and get on with the job in hand.
“We have five games now to try to finish second.
“It is in our own hands but Rangers and Hibs will say the same thing – that it is game on.
“However, the level of performance needs to be better than the semi for us to finish second.”
Aberdeen have finished runners-up to Celtic for the last three seasons.
That status as Scotland’s second force is now under real threat in the post-split fixtures.
“We have five games to show that we are proud of the fact of our recent record (of finishing second),” he added.
“A lot of people make comment that finishing second is easy to do and that it has been for the last few years.
“If it is that easy why has nobody else done it?”
Aberdeen comfortably secured a runners-up finish last season in finishing nine points ahead of third-placed Rangers.
This season they are locked level on points, with Hibs a further three behind.
In-form Kilmarnock have propelled themselves into contention with six straight victories and are a further four behind.
Aberdeen host Rangers at Pittodrie on Tuesday May 8 in a match that could have a massive significance to the campaign’s ultimate outcome.
McInnes’ side have lost all three games to the Ibrox club this season and have also failed to take a point off Celtic in three games this term.
First up, however, is a trip to Kilmarnock on Saturday, the club the Reds overcame in a penalty shoot-out in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.
Asked if securing runners-up spot this season would be better than other second finishes, McInnes said: “I would say so, but last year’s was a good one as well.
“This year we are 16 points ahead of Hearts, three ahead of Hibs and level with Rangers.
“We are giving ourselves a chance to be that second best team in the league again.
“Where you end up in the league is normally a fair reflection of where you are as a club rather than a cup.”.