Aberdeen captain Joe Lewis has issued a rallying cry to his team-mates, urging them to use whatever they can for motivation to finish the club’s season on a high.
A dismal run of one win in nine matches has resulted in Derek McInnes being dismissed and the hunt for a new manager is under way, but Lewis is determined not to let the Dons’ season peter out.
With third place still possible and a Scottish Cup to compete for, the skipper has called for focus and believes his team-mates have plenty sources of inspiration, whether it is repaying their former manager’s faith in them or showing the next manager they have a future at the club.
He said: “Whatever anyone’s motivation is they need to find it and step up to the mark.
“My motivation is to win a trophy and right now the target in the league has to be third place.
“At the start of the season you’re looking for more than that, but right now third place has to be our target because we know what that brings us in terms of rewards for next season.
“They’re my motivations, I can’t speak for everyone else, but I don’t think anyone is looking to try to vindicate anything.
“I think we’re looking to perform well on the pitch because there is a massive amount to play for this season, so hopefully we can look back at the season as a whole as successful one, whereas, right now it doesn’t feel like it has been.”
A trip to Dumbarton or Huntly will herald the start of the Dons’ Scottish Cup campaign next month and Lewis knows it is vital his side finds some form.
He said: “I don’t think anybody needs any more motivation when it comes to trying to win the Scottish Cup.
“It’s a pretty condensed season and anybody that goes on a run of form will feel they can win it and, with the players we’ve got in the dressing room, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t find that form.”
For now the cup can wait, with the immediate priority trying to reduce the six-point gap Hibernian have opened up in the Premiership.
His side has it all to do in the final six games, but Lewis, who will lead his side at Dundee United today, is refusing to concede defeat.
He said: “We’re looking at them as well and we’ve got to play them again, which will be a huge game.
“We’re confident in what we can do here and what they do is out of our hands, apart from when we play them.
“They’re a good team and we respect them and at the moment they are deservedly ahead of us.
“But at the moment there are six games and 18 points to play for, so hopefully we can turn around the points deficit.”