Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis says the Dons haven’t given up hope they can close the gap on Celtic, despite Wednesday’s painful 3-0 defeat.
The Hoops extended their unbeaten domestic run to 61 games and moved three points clear at the top of the table after a one-sided contest at Pittodrie.
Brendan Rodgers’ side finished 30 points ahead of the Dons last term but goalkeeper Lewis is adamant Derek McInnes’ men can produce a more sustained title challenge this season.
He said: “We want to get closer to them, that’s for sure.
“We don’t want to let them run away with it. We want to stay with them for as long as we possibly can and see what that brings towards the back end of the season.
“They were the better side on Wednesday night but we have to be at it again on Saturday against Ross County.
“We are better than we showed against Celtic and we need to show it.
“We believed we could beat Celtic but they played well on the day.
“Last season’s Scottish Cup final [when Celtic beat Aberdeen 2-1] was something we referred back to, because we played well that day.
“The game plan was to replicate that to a certain degree but obviously also get the win. For whatever reason, it didn’t happen and they put in a good performance.
“We just need to make sure we don’t dwell on it because we have a massive game on Saturday now. We can’t dwell on this. We were beaten by the better team but it is a long season and we need to make sure we get back to winning ways.”
Lewis, meanwhile, remains confident manager McInnes sees his long-term future with the Dons.
The Aberdeen manager, who turned down the chance to manage Sunderland in the summer, has been touted as a possible successor to recently departed Scotland manager Gordon Strachan.
Should the Rangers board lose faith with struggling manager Pedro Caixinha, McInnes will inevitably linked with the Ibrox hotseat once again.
But Lewis, who signed a contract extension to 2020 in the summer, hopes McInnes is with the Dons for the long haul.
He said: “We don’t want to lose the manager.
“He’s a great manager. He has done an amazing job here. And you can see he is committed to the cause after the advances from clubs in the summer.
“He is obviously committed here, the players are committed and we need to make sure we show that with our performances.
“The manager has been massive for me. He gave me the confidence when I first came here. He told me I was his no.1 and gave me the idea of how he wanted me to play.
“As a manager and a player, if you are being linked with moves you are doing a good job. I’m sure he will be flattered by the interest, but he has shown his commitment to the club in the summer and we are all pleased to back him.”