Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has confirmed that securing European football is the Dons’ first priority – as he appeared to concede second-place in the league to Rangers.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 02: Derek McInnes manager of Aberdeen walks on the pitch prior to the Betfred Cup Final between Celtic and Aberdeen at Hampden Park on December 2, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The Dons boss admitted that they look “too far away” from the Gers after picking up fewer points than in recent seasons by this point of the season.

McInnes insisted though that his side won’t stop fighting to catch Steven Gerrard’s side before the end of the campaign.

“When we go into the league we have always tried to be as competitive as possible,” McInnes told the Press and Journal.

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“Our first port of call is to get European football.

28th October 2018, Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Scottish League Cup football, semi final, Aberdeen versus Rangers; Aberdeen Manager Derek McInnes commiserates with Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard as Aberdeen win 1-0

(photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

“We are a few points worse off than where we normally are at this stage in the season.

“We look too far away from the teams above us now but you never give it up.

“You keep going but I have said often enough that our fight is with ourselves.”

With third in the league securing Europa League football, the Dons have a three-point cushion over Kilmarnock with ten games left.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes is seen during the Betfred Scottish League Cup Quarter Final match between Hibernian and Aberdeen on September 25, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

McInnes’ side could also book their place in Europe by lifting the Scottish Cup but would need to see of both Rangers and Celtic just to get to the final.

Third in the league looks like the Dons’ best bet but after successive second-place finishes it might not be enough to please all Dons fans.

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