Derek McInnes has targeted second spot in the Scottish Premiership as he bids to lead Aberdeen back to winning ways against Motherwell.
Aberdeen suffered a 2-0 defeat at Pittodrie on Sunday to league leaders Celtic to fall three points behind Rangers In third position and will travel to Fir Park to face Motherwell on Wednesday.
McInnes has overseen three consecutive runners-up finishes and wants to repeat the feat, despite the knowledge finishing third will be good enough for a spot in the Europa League first qualifying round.
When asked about the desire to prove critics wrong amid the increased competition for places, McInnes Said: “We are up there to be shot at. We have always wanted Aberdeen to be as competitive as we can.
“We have managed to be that over the last few seasons. We have been in numerous cup finals, qualified for Europe every year.
“We have been proud of making sure that we have got that second spot. There is competition clearly this season.
“Other clubs have got their act together and are pushing us for that. Hopefully we can qualify for Europe, get second spot.
“We have got 10 games to show how much that means to us and obviously the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup.”
Aberdeen will host Kilmarnock in the Scottish Cup quarter-final on March 3 and McInnes is desperate to return to Hampden Park and make amends for his side’s last-minute defeat to Celtic in the final last year.
“Having lost in the Scottish Cup final last year we want to try and get back there [Hampden Park] and bring the trophy back.
“There are loads still to play for but hopefully over the business end of the season we can deliver strong enough performances to make that come true.”