He has seen his team being “battered” for falling short of fan expectations.
But Derek McInnes insists Aberdeen can still make it a season to remember for the Red Army.
The Dons were booed off the park after their midweek defeat to fellow Europa League-chasers Motherwell at Pittodrie.
It set the Granite City side adrift of the Steelmen.
But their manager reckons, with the benefit of an attacking addition or two before the transfer window shuts, they can still give their fans something to cheer about before the campaign’s end.
“We’ve suffered from terrible injuries this season and we’ve had to try to just put a team out,” said McInnes.
“It hasn’t been the team I wanted to pick at times, but it was the team I had to pick – and we’ve still managed to be pretty consistent.
“Motherwell have been getting loads of praise – and rightly so – but up until last Wednesday night there was a point between us and we’ve been getting battered about not being good enough.
“Ourselves and Motherwell have been consistent enough to get us where we are.
“But I’m not satisfied with what we’re getting. I’m looking for more from the ones that are here. Once we get our injured players back, I’ll be looking for a strong finish to the season.
“I still feel with 16 league games to go there are plenty of points to be won to get that third spot – that European spot – which is always our objective when we start out.
“Then, hopefully, we can get to a Cup Final and give ourselves a chance. That’s where we are.
“When you lose games here you get the reaction we got against Motherwell. I’ve been here long enough to know that.
“We’ve got a strong home record. We’d only lost to Celtic at home this season up until Motherwell.
“But when you lose games, that’s the reaction. It’s all about making sure we dig deep, look for those improvements, keep working hard, and hopefully we’ll get the reward for it.”
The Dons face St Mirren today, needing a win to stay on Motherwell’s heels.
They will need to keep picking them up too, given the Steelmen’s terrific form.
Fortunately, McInnes reckons he knows what he needs to get the job done.
“We’d like to get more threat from the wider areas,” he said.
“Whether that’s from full backs or wide players, we’ve always had wide players who have contributed and chipped in with goals.
“Whether it was Niall McGinn, Jonny Hayes, Gary Mackay-Steven, Ryan Christie, we always had that creativity, speed, quality, but at the minute we’re searching for it.
“If we can’t get it from the ones that are here showing that consistency, it’s important when you see something that needs addressed, hopefully we can get it addressed.”
The Dons are now under the stewardship of Dave Cormack, who arrived stating an ambition to challenge the Old Firm.
But for the time being, the business of thrashing out potential transfers remains as it was.
“Prior to the change it was Stewart, Dave and myself trying to work within the budget,” said McInnes.
“It’s the same now. It’s the same understanding, the same relationship, trying to get as much from the playing budget as we can.
“But we’d still like to make the necessary changes, and hopefully we can.
“I’m still confident that in this window we can try to address what I’ve been saying every week – we’re trying to get a bit more quality, a bit more speed and a bit more attacking threat.”
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