McInnes sees work to do at Dons
Boss Derek McInnes insists Aberdeen have some way to go before they can be considered realistic contenders in the Scottish Premiership.
The Dons enjoyed a positive start to the campaign by recording a 2-1 win over Kilmarnock last week and will be hoping for a repeat of the result at Motherwell on Sunday.
The Steelmen are tipped to be strong contenders for the runners-up spot again this term.
But McInnes believes it is far too early to bill this weekend's clash at Fir Park as a battle between the 'best of the rest' challengers.
He said: "I will down-play that. How can we say we are the two contenders for second spot when we've only played 90 minutes?
"I get what the media think and there are a lot of people predicting that.
"But Motherwell have proved themselves and they deserve that tag of being up there.
"We haven't and we've got work to do to prove that tag."
McInnes is hopeful of a victory over Stuart McCall's men but says he will not read too much into the result if they do return to the Granite City with three points.
He added: "I wouldn't say it puts down a marker. Again, I think that's getting ahead of ourselves.
"For me, if we can go and get a positive result at Motherwell, it's a fantastic result and no more than that.
"It's always a tough fixture and always has been a tough fixture.
"If we can take all three points, it will be a fantastic result.
"If we can take a point, I'm sure that's a decent result on the road as well.
"But we want to try to win the game."
Motherwell head into the meeting with Aberdeen on the back of their Europa League qualifying exit at the hands of Kuban Krasnodar.
The odds were stacked against Well after they suffered a 2-0 defeat at home last week, before a 1-0 loss to the Russians last night sealed their fate.
McInnes said: "I don't know how much they will be hurting. I think the hurt probably came last week at Fir Park.
"Looking at the report from last night, I think Stuart was just full of pride for his players.
"I don't think there is a lot of hurt going out of the competition last night.
"I think there's a lot of pride and I'm sure they'll just be reinforcing the message to make sure they're back there next year.
"I don't think they'll be hurting and I don't think the game will be a factor at all.
"Come Sunday, the Motherwell players will be more than ready to take part in a game against us."