Aberdeen midfielder Willo Flood has targeted a quick response from their surprise defeat by Partick Thistle when they host Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic on Tuesday.
The Dons have reached the final of the League Cup, knocked Celtic out of the William Hill Scottish Cup and maintained second spot in the league during a five-game run of games away from Pittodrie, but they failed to make it an unbeaten road trip at the final hurdle.
Aberdeen had scored eight goals without reply in three previous wins against Thistle this season, but they became the first club to lose at Firhill in the Scottish Premiership after Lyle Taylor’s double gave the Jags a 3-1 victory.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes felt Thistle goalkeeper Paul Gallacher should have been sent off for a penalty-box challenge on Adam Rooney after he had saved Barry Robson’s earlier penalty, but a second spot-kick did not come.
And Thistle made the Dons pay in the second period. Conrad Balatoni slotted home a 59th-minute opener after Lee Mair’s shot broke into his path and Taylor brilliantly converted Kallum Higginbotham’s cross five minutes later.
Rooney soon headed home Niall McGinn’s cross but Stuart Bannigan set up Taylor to quickly restore the hosts’ two-goal lead.
Flood told Red TV: “I thought we actually played quite well first half and their keeper pulled off a great save from the pen and Adam Rooney. We should have maybe had another pen after that. The second half we didn’t come out of the blocks and we just have to take it on the chin.
“We have got to just get on with it now. That’s forgotten about now and we have to concentrate on Tuesday. We need a big performance.
“It will be good to get back to Pittodrie because it’s been a long time since we have played there. Hopefully we can get a good result for the fans, because they deserve it. They have travelled well in the last month when we really needed them, and we will need them again on Tuesday.
“These things come to an end but we have to go on another run. I think people are thinking we are up there and we will stay up there. We have no divine right to stay up there, we have to make sure we stay up there.”
Thistle manager Alan Archibald admitted he could not celebrate until the end after his side lost two late goals in their 4-3 defeat at Motherwell the previous weekend.
He said: “We watched a DVD of the game at Motherwell to see what happened for us to lose that match.
“So I was actually waiting for the whistle from the referee after our goals, just to be sure how I should react.
“It’s hard to celebrate too much as you just don’t know sometimes what’s round the corner when we play.
“But I’ve got to say I’m absolutely delighted.
“We showed great character in the second half after a first half when we appeared nervous and were not passing the ball well.
“We’ve got to go on from this and continue to show more belief and character and it’s a big lift for us that we have also moved up a place in the league table.”