It has been two long weeks for Aberdeen and their supporters.
Two weeks of reliving the sort of result they thought they thought were long gone.
The 5-1 mauling by St Johnstone at Pittodrie is a result which will live long in the memory of every supporter who witnessed it while you can be sure the game is ingrained on every Dons player.
It’s a scar now but one which will be tempting manager Derek McInnes and his players to scratch, pick at and rub away.
No amount of scratching will erase it, only a return to winning ways can help begin the healing process and that’s why Friday’s trip to Victoria Park to play Ross County represents an acid test for the men in red.
While McInnes and his players have been receiving all the plaudits up until their two-game blip against St Johnstone and Caley Thistle, Jim McIntyre’s Ross County have been quietly going about their business with the minimum of fuss.
The Staggies have become a formidable opponent in their own right so far and anyone expecting a routine away win in front of the television cameras had better think again.
This is a new look County team, one of grit and determination as it looks to consign the recent struggles at the bottom of the league to history by becoming an established top six side.
The Dons boast the player of the month for September in Niall McGinn. County have their own talismanic Northern Ireland international in Liam Boyce; a man who can consider himself unfortunate to have been overlooked by his compatriot for the accolade.
County are also aiming to bounce back from a sore defeat following Caley Thistle’s 2-1 win in Dingwall before the international break.
If the Dons play to the level they can then they can win. But the same was said of St Johnstone, Caley Thistle and in the League Cup loss at Hibernian.
Three losses in two competitions have taken the shine off an outstanding start and raised questions of whether this Aberdeen team can go the distance in the Scottish Premiership title race.
That’s why this game matters more than most. The same three points are at stake but psychologically a win would do much to steady the ship and reassure everyone the last three defeats have been a blip.
A fourth loss, however, will lead to the doubters becoming even more vocal and it is up to the Dons to silence them.
McInnes has been used to seeing his players respond to adversity in his tenure at Pittodrie which is why in many respects this is a new test for the Aberdeen manager.
He believes in his team, the power of the collective unit above individuals and is used to getting what he wants out of his squad.
Friday is the ideal opportunity for his players to live up to that billing.