Boss Stephen Glass insists finishing third in the Premiership is Aberdeen’s ‘minimum’ target.
Third-placed Hearts hold a six point advantage advantage over the Dons.
Glass has challenged in-form Aberdeen to overtake Hearts.
With Rangers and Celtic racing ahead of the pack, Glass accepts finishing third behind the Glasgow two looks the likely best outcome this campaign.
However he has warned Aberdeen aim to push for higher than third in future seasons.
Glass insists he is up for the challenge to deliver on those aspirations.
Glass said: “We have finished fourth in the last three seasons but the team wants to be third at a minimum.
“There is an ambition here to push as far as we can.
“It looks like third is as good as we are going to get this year.
“But the aim is to build a group of players who are capable of doing better year on year.
“That is always going to be the aim for any manager at this club.
“There is a pressure that goes with that.
“You know that when you come in the door and anyone that doesn’t accept that shouldn’t come in.”
Third beyond Dons in recent seasons
Aberdeen have placed fourth in the Premiership for the last three seasons since a runners-up finish in 2017-18.
In the previous three campaigns Hibs (2020-21), Motherwell (2019-20) and Kilmarnock (2018-19) beaten the Reds to third.
This season Aberdeen dropped into the bottom six following a damaging 10-game run without victory.
However a recent resurgence in form with three straight wins has elevated the Reds back into the top six.
This season Premiership leaders Rangers are 21 points clear of Aberdeen.
Second placed Celtic hold a 17 point advantage on Glass’ side.
However Hearts are within Glass’ sights as the Tynecastle club are just six points ahead.
In the two meetings so far this season Aberdeen have taken four points from Hearts.
They beat the Jambos 2-1 at Pittodrie and drew 1-1 in Edinburgh.
Glass said: “There is an ambition here to do really well.
“We prefer to look up the way.
“The only way you do that is by winning games and we have done that.
“Now we are looking above us and we are only one point off fourth.
“Hearts are showing this year that they could have really threatened the top two if they had nicked another couple of wins.
“Our goal difference is way better than most teams and we are six points off Hearts.”
Glass looking up the league table
In defeating St Johntone 1-0 at the weekend Aberdeen extended a winning run to three games.
It is the first time the Dons have won three successive Premiership fixtures since September last year.
Aberdeen have four games before the Premiership goes into a two week winter shutdown in early January.
After an inactive weekend they travel to Hibs on Wednesday.
The Easter Road game was rescheduled as Hibs face Celtic in the League Cup final on Sunday.
Aberdeen then face a Pittodrie double-header against Dundee (December 26) and league leaders Rangers (December 29).
There is then a trip to Ross County on January 2 in the final fixture before the top flight goes into winter hibernation.
Strong position before winter break
Gaffer Glass is confident Aberdeen will be in third or pushing Hearts hard for that spot by the winter shutdown.
He said: “They (Hearts) have got a tough run of games as do we.
“However we think we will get the points to be where we should be and that we will be in a good position when the games restart in January.”
Aberdeen will face Hibs following a 10 day gap between games.
In contrast Hibs, who sacked manager Jack Ross last week, will have played twice in a week ahead of hosting Aberdeen.
Hibs beat Dundee 1-0 on Tuesday and face Celtic in the cup final at Hampden on Sunday.
Glass said: “It’s almost like an international break for us, but there’s a game quicker at the end part of it.
“The players had a normal couple of days to rest and recover then we’ll have our usual build up to Hibs.
“It doesn’t disrupt us too much and it obviously gives us a break on the Saturday.
“Then we’ll focus on the four games that are left.”