Derek McInnes has challenged Aberdeen to step up their Premiership campaign in 2021.
At the half way stage of the league campaign the Reds have 38 points from 19 games, a tally McInnes is satisfied with but will demand his squad turn up the heat in the second half of the season.
Aberdeen’s game with Livingston was postponed on Wednesday due to a frozen pitch but they are in action today in the New Firm derby against Dundee United and McInnes wants to start the new year with a bang.
He said: “At the half way stage in the Premiership our points tally is looking alright. We want to try to improve on that in the second half of the season.
“To do that we are going to have to continue to work hard to improve both individually and as a team. I believe in the potential of this team and hopefully we can see that through the whole campaign.”
Aberdeen occupy third spot in the Premiership and hold a two-point advantage over fourth-placed Hibernian.
The Dons have two games in hand on the Easter Road side – against Celtic away on February 17 and the match at Livingston which has yet to be rescheduled.
McInnes added: “The challenge is with ourselves to maintain that motivation and competitive edge to the team.
“That has been clear of late even when we have not been at our best. The motivation of my team has been outstanding.”
It is the first time Aberdeen and United have clashed in the league at Pittodrie since the 2015-16 season as the visitors spent four seasons in the Championship.
Attacker Scott Wright is in contention to return today having been side-lined following an operation on a double hernia early last month.
McInnes said: “It has always been a great fixture. I think back to my time as a United player and the Aberdeen games were always eagerly anticipated.
“I go back to when I was growing up, when Sir Alex (Ferguson) and Jim McLean were at loggerheads trying to get the upper hand on each other.
“As a manager I’ve missed the fixture in recent years with United being out of the league and the fans have as well.
“It’s just disappointing the supporters won’t be in, but it’s still traditionally a key fixture in the calendar.
“Over the years we’ve had some good results down there and we’re looking forward to the game and hoping to get three points.”