Shay Logan, the Aberdeen full-back, has dismissed the suggestion that his side's involvement in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League has hindered them in the early weeks of the domestic season.
The draw for the group stages of the continental competition was made yesterday and allowed the Pittodrie side to reflect on matches against Daugava Riga, Groningen and Real Sociedad.
The squad will likely take far less satisfaction from a start to the league campaign which has comprised just one win in three matches. Aberdeen will host Partick Thistle this afternoon with the intention of recovering their form following a defeat against St Johnstone last weekend.
Logan has still to meet Thistle in a league encounter - the Englishman was injured when the clubs faced each other last term - and is relishing the chance to get back to winning ways this afternoon. He expects that the Firhill side will try to sit in at Pittodrie but acknowledged too that his own side must cope better with the demands of their season.
"Obviously, because of our Europa League involvement, we have played more competitive games than most of the other teams, but that's been no disadvantage," said the 26-year-old. "It's simply been a question of us not being good enough on the day in losing to Dundee United and St Johnstone.
"We are making no excuses about the demands of playing in the Europa League qualifiers as it's just one of those things. We worked all last season to get into that competition and knew what we were getting ourselves into so we can't turn around and say it was a hindrance now."
Thistle have been busy this season too and have most recently signed Jake Carroll on loan from Huddersfield Town. The Irishman - a left-back - will play for the Glasgow side until January 5 and goes straight into the squad for the match at Pittodrie.
He will hope to impress in the north east, as will many of his new team-mates still chastened by their last trip to Aberdeen. "We just need to go up there and try to play well. We only played them once away last year and we got beat 4-0," said the Thistle midfielder.
"It was pretty convincing for them, so we are looking to make it more of a game this time."