Clint Lancaster says he prepared Aberdeen Women for a rollercoaster season which would entail plenty of ups and downs.
The Dons have lost their last three matches in all competitions ahead of a trip to face Dundee United in the SWPL at Foundation Park on Sunday.
Lancaster admits it has been a tough time recently, following an impressive start where Aberdeen won four of their opening six matches, but believes differing runs of form are to be expected.
The Dons boss said: “It has been a difficult few weeks for us, but I said to the players at the start of the season when I first came in that we’d go through good and bad spells.
“I said we’d have these spells in both the fixtures that we have and the results. I knew we would have periods in the season where things didn’t go our way and I tried to prepare the squad for that as best as possible.
“Right now we’re going through a difficult phase with three defeats in a row, albeit against good opposition.
“We have played some good football in those games, but we’ve not picked up anything from them.
“Whether it be Dundee United or any other team your next game is the best opportunity to turn things around.
“Dundee United are a good side and had a good result in the cup (last weekend) and are through to the next round. They will come into the match confident, but we just have to make sure we’re ready for that.”
Early wins vital amid tough spell
Despite a run of three defeats, the Aberdeen manager was keen to praise his squad, who secured early wins which, he believes, provided a platform to build on.
The Dons currently sit seventh in the SWPL with 12 points, while opponents Dundee United are 10th with four points from eight games.
Lancaster said: “We’ve got to recognise the work the players have put in already to get us into the position that we are in.
“We’re in a fantastic position in the league and that’s credit to the players to the start of the season that we’ve had and there’s no reason why that can’t continue.
“Yes, we’re an incredibly light squad. This is probably one of if not the lightest squads that I have ever worked with, so that is tough and it will continue to be tough until January.
“But we just have to keep pushing and ploughing on. We’ve accumulated good points so far and we will do everything we can in each game we’ve got to add to that.”
Lancaster says his side must improve defensively if they are to pick up a positive result against United, with the Dons having conceded 15 goals over their last three defeats.
He said: “It (conceding) is always going to be a a risk with the way I want us to play.
“We risk at the other end because we want to try and be positive in our approach, we want to try and be aggressive, and win the ball back as quick as you can, so the trade off to that is you risk spaces opening up in behind.
“We need to do better defensively, but we also need to be better at creating a few more chances in the final third.
“I think it will come. We’re just going through a difficult spell at the moment, but I’ve got good players and hopefully it will all come together on Sunday.”