Graeme Shinnie has urged his Aberdeen teammates to channel the pain of losing the Viaplay Cup Final to Rangers into quickly climbing up the league.

The Dons have struggled to balance a deep cup run and European group stage football with the domestic toil of the Premiership so far this term. They currently sit in 10th place, just five points clear of bottom placed Livingston.

Given the quality in Barry Robson's squad, including £5m rated striker Bojan Miovski, and the significant wage spend lavished by owner Dave Cormack, the expectation of the Aberdeen hierarchy will be for a quick improvement in results.

And captain Shinnie wants to ensure there's no residual fallout from the narrow defeat at Hampden on Sunday by using the loss as fuel to jumpstart their Premiership campaign.

“I told the boys after the game we need to use the hurt as fuel for the rest of the season," he said. "We can’t afford any sort of hangover, we need to turn our league season around. We need to use Sunday’s game to drive us on.

“For a lot of the boys it’s their first cup final in Scotland so dealing with losing it is a new experience for them. It hurt on Sunday but we have to digest it, forget about it and move on. There is a long way to go, we have a lot of league games and there’s also the Scottish Cup to go for.

“The league is where we are focused now so it’s a good thing to be playing again on Wednesday. In football it’s always a good thing when you have a game quickly after a defeat because it’s a chance to get going again. We need to put a run together now, put the league form right and start climbing up the table.

“We had a good result in Hearts in the league so we need to build on that, get some momentum and get up the league."

While Aberdeen performed well in the Conference League and remained competitive in all their games, the added challenge of playing every three days is one they are getting used to for the first time. For Shinnie, it's been amongst the most difficult spells of a long career on both sides of the border - and that includes his stretch in the notoriously physical and relentless English Championship.

He said: “This season has been gruelling, to be honest. It has been tough, one of the toughest I’ve had in football. We have done a lot of travelling and had a lot of big games - but that’s what it’s like when you’re at the level of playing in European group stages and cup finals.

“It comes thick and fast and you have to deal with it. It has been tougher than playing down south because in the European games you put so much into them. But that’s what you want to be doing as a club, so we have to get used to it and learn how to deal with it.

“Now we have a run of league games we need to win to get to where we want to in the table. We went on a great run last season to get up to third so of course we believe we can do it again. We have had some poor games this season, we’re not going to lie, but we have also had some good performances as well.

“We know what we’ve got in the squad and the quality we’ve got. But there has been enough talking now, we have to start doing it on the pitch and pick up.”