Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has urged his players to prove they are better than they have shown against Rangers and Celtic this season.
The Dons host Rangers on Wednesday looking to banish the disappointment they suffered in a 5-0 thrashing at Ibrox in September.
Aberdeen subsequently lost 4-0 at home to Celtic but have since taken 13 Ladbrokes Premiership points from a possible 15.
McInnes said: “Listen, you are always proving yourself – players have always got to prove themselves, managers have always got to prove themselves.
“Wednesday gives us an opportunity to prove that certainly we are not as poor as we were first time round against Rangers, that we have learnt from that.
“The Celtic game there were similarities in how the performance played out, that first half.
“We are sitting third and there is no disgrace in that when you see the riches of Rangers and Celtic and the form they are in.
“We are four points better off than we were at this stage last season, although it doesn’t feel like it because we had a cup final to look forward to last season.
“But we know there’s improvements in us and we certainly need to see improvements this time around on the way we played against Rangers at Ibrox.
“I think there were reasons for it – we had eight players that would have been stripped who were unavailable and that’s a fact; we were coming off the back of an extra-time disappointment at Tynecastle. So there was a lot of factors that made it a good time for Rangers to play us.
“But I still want my team to show we are better than we were. And if we can show that we have learnt from that in the performance and the approach and the attitude in the game, then hopefully that can help us get the result we want.”