Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis sees no reason why the Dons can’t challenge for the Scottish Premiership title this season.
After a stuttering start to the campaign, the Dons have worked their way back up the table and are only three points adrift of leaders Celtic ahead of today’s visit of Hearts to Pittodrie.
Tuesday’s 5-1 hammering of Dundee made it four league wins out of five for the Dons in December and Lewis knows victories in their next three games – against Hearts, Celtic and Livingston – could send them into the winter break in pole position.
He said: “We have got this far and it’s still on so there’s no reason why it can’t carry on in that vein.
“We’re being taken a lot more notice of now after scrapping around in mid-table and going under the radar a bit earlier in the season.
“We are back in the group at the right end of the league and it’s exciting stuff now with three games until the break.
“We had a difficult run of fixtures towards the end of October and November that probably affected our league position.
“But we’ve had a run of home games recently with two coming up against Hearts and Celtic which has helped to get points on the board.
“Hopefully we can carry on that recent form to push for the league title for as long as we can and as long as we are few points away from that we will keep scrapping for it.”
Only nine points separate eighth-place Hibernian and leaders Celtic in a tightly bunched Scottish Premiership.
Lewis said: “It’s a better league this year and it has got stronger in every one of my three seasons since I came to Aberdeen.
“There’s more competition at the top and you can see that with Hibs beating Celtic the other day then drawing with Rangers.
“St Johnstone have been really strong recently and Kilmarnock have had spells at the top of the league already.
“There are some really good teams and everyone in the top six is capable of beating each other and as long as that keeps happening the league is up for grabs.
“Our aim is to win these last three games before the break and the lads are going into those with a lot of confidence.
“We were struggling a bit to score goals but in the last few games we’ve scored plenty and created a lot of chances as well.”
The Dons goalkeeper is wary of a Hearts side that will be determined to return to winning ways after suffering a shock 5-0 defeat at Livingston last Friday.
He added: “They were flying when we went down there to play them in October and you could see they were full of confidence when we played them.
“It was a tough game for us but it will be different this time with the fans behind us but they will be battling for everything after that defeat at Livingston.
“I watched that match and it was a crazy game really as 5-0 was very harsh on them but losing like that is never nice.
“We’ve all been there where everything you do seems to be punished in terms of every little mistake which is what happened to them.
“They’ll certainly want to bounce back from that as it’s not the Hearts team that we expect to see at Pittodrie.”