Aberdeen captain Joe Lewis has warned their team-mates they have no time to feel sorry for themselves following their Betfred Cup exit on Wednesday.
The Dons missed out on a place in the semi-final of the League Cup after losing 3-0 on penalties to Hearts at Tynecastle at the end of a thrilling quarter-final which had finished 2-2 after extra-time.
But with a trip to Ibrox to face Rangers tomorrow Lewis knows his side cannot afford to dwell on their cup exit.
He said: “We have another massive game on Saturday so we have not got time to sulk or to be too focused on this defeat.
“The game against Rangers is a big game for the club and we are now going to have to get straight on to that. I’m sure that we will all still be disappointed about this game but we will recover and make sure we are fully focused on Saturday’s game.
“We don’t have time to dwell on this.”
Aberdeen were seconds away from a semi-final meeting with Rangers at Hampden thanks to Sam Cosgrove’s two penalties but Craig Halkett’s stoppage-time header took the tie to extra-time.
Cosgrove and Niall McGinn both blasted their spot kicks in the shootout over the crossbar before Bruce Anderson saw his effort saved as Hearts booked their place in the last four to leave Lewis and his team-mates crestfallen.
The Dons skipper knows they let their chance slip.
He said: “It is difficult. To be winning the game right up to 91 minutes makes it even more frustrating. We should have seen those last couple of minutes out.
“But they got themselves back into the game and I thought that in extra time we were the better team and the team more likely to go on and win it. Instead it goes to penalties and unfortunately we are the ones to lose out.
“Weathered the storm is probably not the right phrase as I felt we were playing well. I think when you are 2-1 down in a cup tie and your centre half ends up scoring, you are able to take that gamble and get him up in the box.
“But we are disappointed that he has scored from the centre of the six yard box and out wide we would have liked to be stronger with that one but when it goes to penalties it is a bit of a lottery and unfortunately we missed out in this one.”
Lewis has backed striker Cosgrove to bounce back from his penalty miss in the shootout.
He said: “Sam doesn’t need to beat himself up because he scored two in the game and he has scored plenty other penalties for us this season and in previous season.
“The lads had the courage to step up and take the penalties and unfortunately we didn’t score any but that is what penalty shootouts are all about and someone misses so hopefully the lads don’t get too disappointed with themselves.
“They were the ones who had the courage to step up but unfortunately this time around they didn’t score.”