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Pawlett hopes 'wake-up call' will reduce cause for alarm

Peter Pawlett intends to stand up to the challenge coming his way.

That is an assessment that has not always been easy to make about the young Aberdeen forward given accusations of simulation earlier in his career but he wants only to act out a response to his side's Boxing Day defeat. The Pittodrie side are at home to Ross County tomorrow and are determined to redress their form.

The arrival of the Dingwall side would seem to accommodate a resurrection since they have slipped to second bottom of the SPFL Premiership table and continue to slide, albeit the Highland side won in the reverse fixture three months ago. Pawlett has identified that result as another blip to his club's season, but also a lasting reminder that their approach must not be found wanting.

"We went up there maybe not in the best frame of mind and certainly not at our best," said Pawlett. "We didn't perform to our potential and were beaten. So, that's a wake-up call and gets us ready for this game. We won't be taking anything for granted."

Aberdeen's home defeat by Motherwell earlier this week exposed their defensive flaws, though in mitigation they will point to the absence of Clark Robertson, Andrew Considine and Mark Reynolds through injury as factors in their discomfort at the back. The latter expected to be back in place tomorrow, however.

"It's surprising that Ross County haven't won in eight games because they are a difficult team to play against," Pawlett added. "They are very organised and their players are always willing to get among you and stop you playing. It's tough to find space against them."

Pawlett had appeared to be going nowhere at Pittodrie before pushing on this season - he has scored four goals this season and no longer drops with as much exuberance - almost personifying the renewed ambitions of his club this season. Stuart Kettlewell, the County midfielder, has been thrilled to see Aberdeen, and also Dundee United, recover their past grandeur this term, even if he will do his best to curb the enthusiasm at Pittodrie tomorrow.

"Ultimately, from a Scottish football point of view it is great to see those two clubs bringing through talented youngsters," said Kettlewell. "I'm looking at Dundee United last Saturday there against us and hats off, some of those young players are absolutely tremendous.

"Aberdeen also have very good young players getting their chance and it is tremendous for the Scottish game. We just have to make sure they don't get much joy against us."

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