Former Don Brian Irvine has called on Aberdeen to show they have the quality and belief required to catch Hibernian.
The Dons remain four points adrift of Hibs in the race for third spot, with Derek McInnes’ side having seven games remaining, while the Easter Road outfit have eight.
Aberdeen have slipped behind following a run of one win in eight games, but Irvine believes one good result is all it will take to reignite the race for Europe.
He said: “It is easy for me to talk all day about what Aberdeen are capable of, but the short answer is it has to happen now on the park as the games are running out.
“They need to win games, of course they do, but it’s more than that. They need a good, convincing win not just to show the fans this team can deliver, but maybe to remind the players themselves what they can do.
“Put all the energy into that big result and then see what happens from there. With 21 points still to play for, I am sure no-one at Pittodrie believes there is no way a four-point gap cannot be overturned – but it is time for the team to show it.”
Irvine was part of the Dons side in 1991 who came from seven points behind with 10 games remaining to take the Premier Division title race to the final day of the season against Rangers, which is why he believes Hibs’ four point lead is not insurmountable.
He said: “It is still all to play for. Had Hibs won on Saturday then seven points clear with a game in hand might have been too big a gap to cut back, but they are still within Aberdeen’s reach.
“It does not take much for a four-point lead to disappear. Hibs have to come to Pittodrie for what is a must-win for Aberdeen, but all it takes is a draw for them and an Aberdeen win in another fixture to change it all round and suddenly it is the Dons in the driving seat.
“Aberdeen have had a poor run of results, but they are still in a scenario where third place is doable.”
Irvine’s confidence in Aberdeen finishing the season strongly stems from the first half of the campaign and he is convinced the Dons have the quality needed.
He said: “They’ve struggled for goals this season, but I don’t see a lack of confidence or belief there. They face Hamilton this weekend, a team which they produced flowing, attacking football when they last played at Pittodrie.
“I’ve also watched the same Aberdeen team play attacking, free-flowing football at Ross County when the sides met earlier this season, so it’s not as if the quality is not there in the team.
“The challenge has been producing it consistently, but there is no reason why it can’t happen with the players Derek McInnes has got there.”