Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes hopes a return to Fortress Pittodrie can help his team get back to winning ways this weekend.
The Dons’ excellent start to the league campaign was dented on Saturday when Caley Thistle ended the Reds’ 100% winning start to the season with a 2-1 win in the Highlands.
The defeat came at the end of a testing run of three away games in six days for Aberdeen and, with St Johnstone set to visit Pittodrie on Saturday, McInnes and his players are looking forward to the chance to play in front of their own supporters again.
He said: “The players have shown time and time again that they can respond well to a defeat and that’s the challenge facing us now.
“We’ve faced three tough away games in six days. That has put a demand on the squad and it will be nice to have a home game again.”
The chance to play at Pittodrie, where the Dons have won all four league matches so far, will be welcomed by the manager and his players but McInnes has emphasised the role the supporters have to play when his former club St Johnstone visit.
He said: “It helps when you play in front of a bigger crowd.
“As a manager, during games you are looking for players to be focused and have a competitive edge. But there’s no doubt the support plays a part and the encouragement they have given the players is fantastic.
“In games there are times, such as when we went down to 10 men against Celtic, that we’re under pressure, and that is where a crowd can give the team a lift. It’s really important.”
Despite losing their perfect record there is no despondency at Pittodrie and with his side holding a four-point lead at the top of the table the manager knows there is much to be cheerful about.
But the loss at Inverness, which followed the League Cup exit at Hibs, has served as a timely reminder of what can happen when performance levels drop.
McInnes said: “It’s still very early but the start has been pleasing. We stripped the first five games down into a block and to come out of that with maximum points, on the back of European involvement, was pleasing.
“But you don’t get too overly concerned about where you are at this stage of the season. It’s about trying to keep that winning formula going.
“But no one will give us points for being top of the league. We have to go out and earn them.”