Former Aberdeen striker Billy Dodds believes the pressure is on his former club to get back to winning ways against Ross County on Saturday.
The Dons welcome the Staggies, who used to be coached by Dodds when he assisted Jim McIntyre, to Pittodrie tomorrow with both clubs looking to get back to winning ways after disappointing results but Dodds believes Aberdeen’s need is greater.
He said: “Both management teams will be looking for an improvement in performance levels after recent results. Aberdeen have home advantage and are the bigger club but they are under greater pressure to get the three points this weekend.
“I can assure you as a player and coach it’s horrible going into an international break and waiting two weeks to play again after a defeat or disappointing result.
“I wouldn’t say they are two clubs that need to kick-start their season but they won’t want to go into the international break on a low note.
“Ross County have four points and are fourth in the table. I’m sure if you had offered them that after three games they would have taken it.
“But the last couple of weeks have been sore for both teams. Aberdeen have lost to St Mirren and drawn with Kilmarnock and the performances have been poor in both games.
“Ross County were going well after a good win against Hamilton and a great display at Hearts but the Betfred Cup defeat at Partick and the heavy home defeat to Livingston will have hurt them.”
For Ross County, consolidating their status as a top-flight club again on their first season back in the Premiership is the aim while Derek McInnes will be hoping to keep his side as close to Celtic and Rangers as they can at the top of the Premiership.
The Dons have been Celtic’s main challengers in the league in recent years but last season they had to settle for a fourth place finish behind champions Celtic, runners-up Rangers and third placed Kilmarnock.
Dodds believes it will be a struggle for any side other than Rangers to break Celtic’s dominance.
He said: “Everyone is playing for third place in the Premiership this season. Aberdeen have done brilliantly to challenge in the last few years and Kilmarnock did well last season but sustaining it year after year is impossible.
“Aberdeen are a big club but they don’t have and Old Firm budget or playing squad. Anyone who can beat that in Scottish football is a miracle worker. Let’s be realistic here.
“Rangers have been getting stronger year on year while Celtic have won a treble-treble. It’s hard to stay in contention with that never mind overcome it.”