Fired-up captain Graeme Shinnie has challenged Aberdeen to finish their Euro group stage campaign on a high by winning their remaining two fixtures.
The Dons are set to jet out to Finland, where they face HJK Helsinki in Group G of the Europa Conference League on Thursday.
Aberdeen’s Euro campaign will conclude with the final group game against German giants Eintracht Frankfurt at Pittodrie on December 14.
As the Dons ready to freeze in minus-10 degrees in the Finnish capital, Shinnie aims to turn up the heat on their rivals.
Although the Dons can no longer qualify from the group, there remains £870,000 in Uefa prize money, and club coefficient points, up for grabs.
A group stage win secures 500,000 euros (£435,000) in Uefa prize payments.
Despite earning plaudits for their Euro performances, the Reds have yet to secure a win in Group G.
Shinnie aims to end that by defeating Helsinki and Eintracht Frankfurt, the 2022 Europa League champions.
The 32-year-old said: “We will look to win the game in Helsinki, as we always do.
“And then we have a home game against Frankfurt before the Viaplay Cup final (against Rangers).
“That game against Frankfurt is at Pittodrie so we want to go out with a win.
“Our preparation will be to try to win those games.”
Sense of ‘what if?’ in Group G lingers
Aberdeen travel to Scandinavia with confidence high, having drawn 1-1 with Rangers at Pittodrie on Sunday.
The Reds are competing in the group stages of Europe for the first time since the 2007-08 Uefa Cup.
Under Jimmy Calderwood 16 years ago, the Dons progressed from the groups to set up a knock-out clash with Euro giants Bayern Munich.
Lightning failed to strike twice as the current Aberdeen side cannot progress from the group this time around.
Hopes of progressing were extinguished when they drew 2-2 with Group G leaders PAOK in Greece in the previous Euro match.
PAOK have 10 points with second-placed Eintracht Frankfurt on nine.
With Aberdeen on two points, with only two games remaining, they cannot catch PAOK or Frankfurt.
Shinnie admits to disappointment the Dons are no longer in the fight to qualify from the groups.
As the Dons ready to face Helsinki, there is a lingering sense of “what if?” after pushing PAOK and Frankfurt hard.
The captain insists valuable Euro lessons have been learned.
Shinnie said: “We’ve been a little bit disappointed.
“It’s easy saying that, but we were two-up at Pittodrie with 15 minutes to go and very comfortable in the game.
“Then there were three slack errors to lose the game 3-2.
“We’d have been in a strong position to fight to get through in the group (if they’d won the home game against PAOK).
“We’ll learn from that.
“We also went toe-to-toe with Frankfurt away (2-1 loss) – we had a really good performance in Germany.”
Lessons learned against Helsinki
As Aberdeen ready to face HJK Helsinki at the Bolt Arena, the Dons captain also looks back to a squandered opportunity against the Finnish champions.
Aberdeen had 18 shots at goal, six on target, but fell behind to a Bojan Radulovic goal in the second half before Bojan Miovski levelled for the Reds.
Radulovic’s goal was Helsinki’s only shot on target in the Granite City.
Despite the bid to progress from the group being over, Shinnie believes the Dons can take pride from their Europa Conference League campaign.
He said: “Against Helsinki at home, we lost a goal through maybe the one chance they had that night.
“We had a lot of the ball and a lot of chances, but didn’t take advantage of that.
“Overall we can be proud of what we’ve done.
“We just maybe haven’t got what we deserved.”
Facing top teams with big budgets
Performances, if not results, in the club’s first appearance in the group stages of Europe for 16 years have proven one thing to Shinnie – Aberdeen deserve to be on that stage.
He said: “Performance-wise in Europe against some top teams – with some big budgets – we’ve been very good, very competitive.
“We know what we’ve got in the squad. We know we can do it.”