Midfielder Lewis Ferguson warned the Dons must fight with Rangers and Celtic to have any hope of beating them.
Aberdeen are reeling after a humiliating 4-0 home loss to Celtic where all the goals came in the first half.
The dismal Dons failed to register a single shot on target at Pittodrie.
Ferguson watched that shocker in disbelief from the sidelines as he served out the final match of a two-game suspension.
He is set to return to the starting line-up for tonight’s away Premiership clash at Hamilton Accies.
That Celtic horror show came just a month after Aberdeen were brushed aside 5-0 by Rangers at Ibrox.
Ferguson accepts the financial gap between the Glasgow clubs and Aberdeen is huge but reckons that is no excuse for the heavy defeats this season.
The 20-year-old insists the Reds must battle at the very minimum to narrow the gap over 90 minutes against the Old Firm.
He said: “They are miles ahead of us in the money side of things.
“It is up to us to close that gap when Celtic and Rangers are spending millions and bringing quality in.
“We have got to work harder in that sense to get the boys together to try to close the gap.
“Although they are streets ahead of us in the financial sense when we are up against them we have to compete against that.”
The obliteration at the hands of Celtic was the nadir of a drastic drop in home form that has yielded just four Premiership wins in 12 at Pittodrie in 2019.
On his return to the starting line-up tonight Ferguson is determined to get three points to begin the healing process after a sobering defeat he was not even involved in.
However, he believes the hurt the Dons felt after the Celtic loss should not be forgotten.
He said: “It is hard to stay positive after a defeat like that.
“After a game like that the best thing that can happen is a midweek game because there is no time to dwell on the defeat.
“Straight away you are recovering and trying to get your body right. That takes your mind off that loss whereas if you had a week or a couple of weeks you would think about it too much.
“We want to put the Celtic defeat behind us but not forget the feeling so it doesn’t happen again.”
Due to his suspension, Ferguson helplessly watched the first-half carnage inflicted by Celtic from the stands.
He said: “It was a difficult watch knowing what they were going through.
“The Celtic game was frustrating and disappointing. Celtic were top class and we were not at our best.
“I knew the situation they were in and how difficult it was to turn things around in a game like that. But we have to stick together as a team and do the basics right.”
Ferguson, who will face former club Hamilton, was hit with a two-game ban for a late challenge on Stevie Mallan deep into injury time in the 1-1 draw with Hibs.
Striker Curtis Main was also sent off in that game and will return tonight having also served a two-game ban.
Ferguson admits the red card was justified.
He said: “I was late. It was later on in the game and I was tired.
“I was just a bit late and caught the boy.
“It was probably fair.
“It was just a bit daft as I had played well and it was the last minute of the game.
“It was just a mistimed tackle really and it is probably going to happen again in my career.
“It has been tough because it felt like I had been out for ages as there was also the international break following my sending off.
“It has been hard to sit and watch.
“I don’t like sitting in the stands watching the boys. I am delighted to be back and am ready if picked against Hamilton.”