Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean says the Dons are determined to regain second spot after feeling they let down their travelling support against Hibernian.
More than 2,000 fans travelled to Easter Road but watched their side succumb to a vibrant Hibs team in the second half, with the 2-0 defeat leaving McLean and the Dons dressing-room deflated.
The Dons have finished runners-up to Celtic for the past three seasons but they slipped down to third yesterday after Rangers moved above them with a 5-3 victory at Hamilton Accies.
Graeme Murty’s side present Aberdeen’s biggest challenge for second and McLean, who was loaned back to the Dons from Norwich City last month, does not want to depart on a low note.
McLean said: “Right across the board the squads have got stronger and we’re the same. We’re challenging for second and we’ve worked hard to get where we are – we can’t just throw that away.
“It’s up to us to make defeats happen as seldom as possible. Everyone is down – we travelled there expecting to win because we’re on a good run. The fans have come to cheer us on and we’ve let them down. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does it’s hard to take.
“We need to channel it into next Sunday. It’s hard to take but our focus now needs to be on Celtic. We’ve bounced back from defeats previously and we’re still in a good position. We’ve got a good group of boys and, although it’s hard to take, we need to look at the positives and how hard we’ve worked to get into this position.”
Saturday’s 2-0 loss was their seventh defeat of the season and even though it came without captain Graeme Shinnie, McLean felt they should have been able to cope.
He said: “It was uncharacteristic but that’s not an excuse. Everyone was deflated in the changing room. We let Hibs enjoy the game too much and their good players came to the fore. We didn’t. Our best player was our goalkeeper and that says a lot.
“Graeme Shinnie is a massive player for us but the whole squad should be able to deal with it when players are missing. That’s why we have a big squad and why the manager brings players in. I’ve got confidence in the boys that come in but Saturday just wasn’t the day for anyone.
“Other players will move on, that’s not an issue. Everyone wants to win games, week in, week out, no matter what level you’re at. Everyone wants to get a result on a Saturday and that’s what you work towards all week.”
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