Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is confident his rebuilt Reds can secure success despite an inconsistent start to the season.
However, to deliver that, McInnes accepts he must build confidence and belief in a squad rocked by heavy defeats to both Celtic and Rangers
Aberdeen are gunning for a third straight victory when they travel to Ross County today.
But the humiliating 4-0 loss to champions Celtic and a 5-0 defeat at Rangers weeks earlier have cast a shadow over the campaign.
Those defeats raised questions about how effective McInnes’ summer rebuild had been and if new players were up to the demands and expectations of being at a club like Aberdeen.
McInnes remains adamant the Reds will deliver after witnessing indications of their potential.
He said: “I am confident we have the potential to go and have a good campaign this season.
“I put the squad together at the start of this season because I feel we can do that.
“There have been signs.
“We have shown at times this season signs of what we threaten to be and what we are capable of being. However, there have also been far too many times when we haven’t shown that.
“We have been far too inconsistent which is why we need to build the belief, confidence and trust that we can deliver.
“We have had some decent results but that has been overshadowed by the Old Firm games which were really disappointing.
“I would rather concentrate on the two positive results we had after Celtic. Only by going on unbeaten and winning runs to build momentum can we start to get that real belief we can go on and do well this season.”
There has been a response since that capitulation to Celtic where the Reds at home failed to register a single shot on target.
Aberdeen have secured back-to-back wins against Kilmarnock (3-0) and Hamilton (1-0).
In the build-up to today’s bid for a third straight win at County there was the potential distraction of reported interest in McInnes from Championship bottom side Stoke City.
It is understood McInnes was not part of Stoke’s discussions to replace sacked Nathan Jones and was not on any short-list.
Stoke subsequently announced the appointment of Northern Ireland’s Michael O’Neill as their new manager on a three-and-a-half year deal.
All focus within Pittodrie was on the journey to Dingwall.
As that match approaches, McInnes insists he has learned about the character of his squad in the way they have reacted to the fall-out from the Celtic defeat.
He said: “We cannot ignore the Celtic game but recently we have beaten two teams round us in Motherwell and Kilmarnock with very convincing 3-0 victories.
“We also beat Hamilton which is normally a hard game for us.
“The two games we have had since the Celtic defeat will hopefully get more confidence and belief into the team.
“I am learning about my players as we go along and they are learning about the demands of it.
“The fall-out from the Celtic game was expected from me.
“It might not have been expected from some but that is what it is like playing here.
“You have got to respond.
“Some recent performances have probably put a bit of positivity and belief back into the support.
“We are not as bad as maybe some think. To get to where we want to be we need to keep winning games.
“Three wins in a row was the short term target after the Celtic game and that is what we are trying to do at Ross County.”