Aberdeen keeper Joe Lewis insists his confidence is back after dropping to the bench for the first time.
The 34-year-old paid the cost for a dip in form earlier this season when losing his starting place.
Now back in the starting XI Lewis insists he is ‘back to my old self’.
Lewis made an error for the winning goal in the 3-2 loss at St Mirren in September and was subsequently dropped.
It was the first time the keeper had been left out of the starting line-up since signing for Aberdeen in summer 2016.
Lewis will today face St Mirren for the first time since that a costly error against the Buddies led to a spell on the bench.
He insists his form, and confidence, are back.
Lewis said: “I feel a lot more confident and back to my old self.
“I didn’t enjoy it (St Mirren game) but I feel like I’m playing well recently.
“I’m looking forward to the game.
“I’m going to try to get a win to help the team.”
Lewis calls for more consistency
When Lewis was replaced by Gary Woods in the 2-1 loss to Celtic on October 3 it ended a run of 234 consecutive starts in games he was available for.
In making that change manager Stephen Glass urged Lewis to focus on regaining his form and not search for answers as to why he was dropped.
Ultimately Lewis only missed two games and returned for the 1-0 defeat of Hibs.
That return was part of a triple header in a successful week that saw the Dons draw with Rangers 2-2 and beat Hearts 2-1.
However the Reds would then lose the next three matches prior to overcoming Livingston 2-0 at Pittodrie on Wednesday.
🔴 That goalscoring feeling in front of The Red Army.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) December 2, 2021
Lewis has called for more consistency as the Dons bid to move back into the Premiership top six.
Lewis said: “The challenge is making sure we are mentally ready for every game.
“When you go to Celtic Park it is easier to motivate yourself as you have the crowd and the conditions are perfect.
“Wednesday night was a different challenge. The weather was difficult but we played very well to nullify a lot of Livingston’s threats.
“That’s the challenge, to get that consistency and try to replicate something similar to Wednesday night on Saturday.
“We know we could have played better on Wednesday and could have won by more.
“So there is improvement to be made and we will look to build on it.”
Third clean sheet of the season
The defeat of Livingston was only the third time in 23 games in all competitions this season Aberdeen had registered a shut-out.
Lewis said: “It is pleasing keep a clean sheet.
“We also won convincingly on what could have been a difficult night and we will look to build on that.
“It was a good performance against Livingston and we also played quite well at Celtic Park as well without getting a result.
“The challenge is making sure we are mentally ready for every game.”
Defensive injury crisis this season
Aberdeen have been hampered by a defensive injury crisis in recent months.
Defenders Calvin Ramsay (thigh muscle), Jack MacKenzie (ankle), Declan Gallagher (hamstring), Andy Considine (cruciate ligament) and Mikey Devlin (ankle) are all out of today’s game.
Scotland international centre-back Gallagher is on course to be in contention to return against St Johnstone next weekend.
Lewis has had to operate behind a back four and a three with different personnel in the defence this season due to the injury crisis.
He insists the Reds will battle through those injury problems before the Premiership goes into a three week winter break in early January.
Enter the winter break on a high
Lewis aims to go into the shutdown with positive, winning momentum and Aberdeen pushing hard in the top six.
He said: “The aim is to be in a much better position going into the winter break on the back of some good performances to build momentum for the rest of the season.
“To be fair we have played a lot better than we did against Livingston and lost games this season.
“So it’s our duty to get that positive run going now to make sure we are much better shape come January than we have been.”