Aberdeen defender Clark Robertson believes the Dons have already shown they are on course to finish in the top six this season and should even be targeting second place.
The 20-year-old left back, in the Scotland under-21 squad to face Georgia in the European championship qualifier in Tbilisi today, reckons Aberdeen can compete with the best in the Premiership after making an impressive start to the campaign under Derek McInnes.
After three seasons in the doldrums of the bottom six, Aberdeen have benefited from a number of youth players proving they can make the grade at first-team level and the Dons are now fourth in the table ahead of Saturday’s visit of Dundee United.
Robertson is among the new generation to show there is hope of a first top-six placing in four years. He said: “With the squad we have we have to be up there challenging for second place. The manager always tells us not to look beyond the next game and he has brought in an air of freshness.
“Everyone is buzzing and we all want to do well for him and the supporters. They have been good to the team and the manager this season and I hope they stick with us. It will be a good season for us. Our away support is among the best in the league – we took 2,000 supporters to Ross County, a three-hour journey on bad roads.
“It was a minor blip at County and we will go into the Dundee United game with confidence. You never get too high after winning or too low after a defeat.
“There is always going to be failure in football but, hopefully, it won’t happen too often this season. The players will benefit from the rest from the international break to freshen up and we will go into the United game looking for three points.”
Robertson was deflated but not disheartened by the 1-0 defeat by Ross County at Dingwall.
He said: “With all the young players in the team the Ross County game was maybe one too many. We have had a few experienced players out – such as Willo Flood and Barry Robson. But up until the County game we were playing really good football and getting great results.
“I don’t think it will have a big say on our season. We have a big game against United coming up. They are on a bit of a high.
“The young players look up to the likes of Willo Flood, Barry Robson, Russell Anderson, Mark Reynolds and Andrew Considine. And with a bit of guidance from them on the pitch we will be back up there.”