Aberdeen’s recent displays merited criticism, according to captain Joe Lewis.
But ahead of today’s clash with Motherwell the goalie insists it’s important to remember the Dons are still in a strong Premiership position.
The Reds return to action after the international break at Fir Park this afternoon following one of the most challenging periods of Derek McInnes’ time as manager.
The Dons have won just one game out of five – a 2-0 success in the league at Livingston.
They drew 1-1 at home to St Johnstone and Hibs and 2-2 with Hearts in the Betfred Cup quarter-final before losing 3-0 on penalties – with the most disappointing result being the 5-0 thrashing at Ibrox.
For keeper Lewis it’s been as challenging a period as he’s experienced since joining the club in the summer of 2016.
The Englishman says the flak the Reds have received has been justified – but the 32-year-old reckons it’s worth remembering Aberdeen will only be a point off third spot with a victory against Motherwell today.
Lewis said: “Possibly it was (the most challenging period of his time at Pittodrie). In terms of the result against Rangers that was a huge disappointment.
“That was the worst result we’ve had since I’ve been at the club.
“When you have a performance like that and a result like that there is always going to be criticism.
“I think you have to accept that as an Aberdeen player. The expectation is high and you will get criticised and rightly so – I think people were entitled to have a pop at us after that performance and result.
“It was a time for the players to look at themselves in terms of how we approached that game.
“We showed a response against Hibs and certainly the way the game went with some decisions against us, a 1-1 draw with nine men wasn’t a bad result.
“Before the game, with Hibs struggling a bit, we wanted to win the game. But the way it panned out I think we can take positives from that.
“We know that our performances and results can improve a lot and we’re looking to do that.
“Having been through a difficult spell, we’re not in a bad position.
“We would love to still be in the League Cup and we were a last-minute equaliser away from being in the next round.
“But we’re not in a terrible position given the sticky spell we have gone through.”
As Aberdeen captain, Lewis feels a responsibility to try to lift the team after frustrating results.
But the former Cardiff, Peterborough and Blackpool custodian says there are others in the Pittodrie dressing-room who can help the recovery after poor results.
He added: “After disappointing results you try to pick the lads up.
“Everyone is going to be disappointed after poor performances and poor results.
“It’s tough in the following week to put that behind you and you have to keep it in mind.
“You know that it wasn’t acceptable and you need to improve – but you also need to focus on the next game.
“We have a lot of senior lads here. Andy Considine has been around for ages, Niall McGinn has a lot of experience, Scott McKenna and Mikey Devlin are good lads in the dressing room, Shay Logan is always positive.
“So we’ve got a lot of players in the dressing room who are experienced enough for us to move on from bad results and show what we’re capable of.”
Motherwell have enjoyed a good start to the season, with Stephen Robinson’s Steelmen taking 16 points from their first eight games.
Lewis said: “They’ve started the season well and since I’ve been here they’ve always been a strong physical team.
“I think they’ve been a bit underrated in terms of what they can do technically as well.
“The manager has done a good job with them there. They can rough it and be physical, but they can do the other side of the game as well and we need to be ready for that.”