Aberdeen midfielder Ryan Jack expressed his delight at the way his team put aside their Scottish League Cup final triumph and returned to Scottish Premiership action with three points on Saturday.
Jack scored the goal that completed the turnaround in a 2-1 win over Kilmarnock, which kept spirits in the Granite City high ahead of Sunday’s cup victory parade.
The atmosphere could have been subdued for Sunday’s celebrations had Killie built on Kris Boyd’s 11th-minute opener, but the prolific Adam Rooney equalised six minutes later and then Jack steered home a low left-footed shot in the second half.
Aberdeen-born Jack said: “After last week, I don’t think the game would have had a bearing on how much we enjoy the parade, but obviously we knew that coming back to league business and getting the points would make it an even better day.
“All the boys are looking forward to it, but we knew we still had a job to do (on Saturday). We couldn’t let ourselves get distracted.”
The Scotland Under-21 midfielder insists manager Derek McInnes has kept the players’ feet on the ground - a task made all the more important as the Dons face a busy schedule over the coming days.
“The manager has said the whole week that the time to reflect on the victory will be in the summer - it won’t be here and now,” he added. “All the boys have listened to him, and you saw we wanted to get back to league business.
“You want to have a lot of games, and we’ve got Ross County in midweek and Dundee United at the weekend. As a footballer, you want to be playing all the time so all the boys will be relishing the challenge.”
Results elsewhere meant the make-up of the two sections the league will split into were confirmed, with Kilmarnock in the bottom six.
Although Hearts are well adrift at the bottom, just three points cover four of the other five sides involved in the battle to avoid the newly introduced play-off slot.
Goalkeeper Craig Samson accepts his side cannot rely on others to help them avoid such a fate and feels that, having taken the lead at Pittodrie, this was a chance missed.
“Aberdeen have obviously come in on a high after a great win last week but we’ve managed to peg them back and taken the lead. We shot ourselves in the foot with the two goals that we lost,” he said.
“They’re goals that we could have defended better and ones that we shouldn’t be conceding, so we’re disappointed to lose the game.
“We felt that if we came here and acquitted ourselves well then we would have a chance to take the points, but that hasn’t happened.”
The bottom six remained unchanged after Saturday’s results, but, with the four teams behind eighth-placed Killie having games in hand, the Scotland squad member reaffirmed the importance of picking up as many points as possible.
He said: “All the teams in the bottom six lost, but we can’t rely on that. We’ve got to look after ourselves and it was certainly a chance missed for us.
“We’ve got massive, massive games coming up, and we’ve got to take responsibility as players to win those games.”