The Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says a disparity in financial resources will not prevent his side from trying to challenge Celtic for the title.
Aberdeen can move to within three points of the champions at the top of the Premiership if they beat Dundee on Friday evening.
McInnes says his aim is to stay as close to Celtic for as long as possible and continue to improve his own side.
“We shouldn’t shy away from our responsibilities to get close to them.”
After maintaining a challenge to Celtic in the league for most of last season before falling away in the closing weeks of the campaign, the Dons are again giving the champions a run for their money this term.
McInnes is aware that Celtic’s superior financial resources will always give them an advantage, but says there is no point in his club worrying about a situation that will never change.
“I feel my team, certainly in the league over the past couple of seasons, has punched way above its weight,” the former St Johnstone and Bristol City boss said.
“It shows what can be done if you’ve got a competitive team and that’s what we continue to try to be.”
during the week – the reality is the signing plus the player’s wages would equate to my full footballing budget,” said McInnes, whose side are on a nine-game unbeaten run.
“It suggests the gulf the other clubs are operating with compared to Celtic.
“We can’t get away from that but it’s not to say we can’t try to be competitive.”
Aberdeen’s next match after the game with Dundee is a home match against Celtic but though a victory in that match would give their title challenge further impetus, McInnes won’t make any rash declarations.
“I’ve always said for us and other clubs in the league, we’re all dependent on Celtic having a poor campaign just to help us get close to them,” he said.
“But we can’t be totally dependent on that. We just need to try to improve on what we’ve got. That, I’m still confident we can do.”