Brown `not losing sleep' over Dons position
Craig Brown insists he is not losing sleep over Aberdeen's position in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League as he backed his side to make a late bid for a place in the top six, starting against Motherwell.
The Dons sit ninth in the table and have picked up just one victory in their last nine outings in all competitions.
They face a tough challenge when Well come calling on Saturday - a side the Dons have failed to defeat in the league since 2008.
But veteran boss Brown refused to be downbeat about forthcoming matches, while claiming he is not feeling the pressure.
He said: "You've got an accountability to everyone here at the football club - the chairman, the board, the fans. You've got that in every game. I want the best for Aberdeen Football Club, that's my job. I'm certainly accountable.
"But I don't feel pressure. I'm not losing sleep. I'm conscious of the fact that we want to do as well as we can. I think the fair-minded people will look and say that we've had some misfortune but we've had some poor performances.
"Not all that many, I would have to say, but the last game was one of them and we must get that out of our system. I'm not contemplating not being in the top six. I'm optimistic about it and we're focused on getting there."
Asked if James McFadden - back at Motherwell for a second spell - will be the one to watch at Pittodrie, Brown said: "He's one of many. The Motherwell team are confirming they are the second best team in the country.
"We've put them out of the cup in the last two seasons away from home and the last two games we've played here have been draws.
"So we just need to try to edge a step further. I think they are respectful of our team and we are certainly respectful of theirs."
Aberdeen are boosted by the return of Joe Shaughnessy. The defender had been sidelined with a broken nose but is back in contention for the visit of the Steelmen.
The Dons will again be without longer-term casualties Isaac Osbourne, Andrew Considine and Chris Clark.
Motherwell are looking to extend their 12-game unbeaten run against Aberdeen in the SPL. And manager Stuart McCall still feels the Dons could be contenders for a European spot despite sitting in ninth place.
"I think they have the strongest squad out with Celtic," he said.
"They have had their injury problems and I'm sure Craig will point to that and rightly so.
"I'm sure if they had a full squad throughout the season they would be higher up but nobody is saying they can't put three or four victories together and be right up there at the end of the season.
"I still think they have the players and experience to do it."
McCall, whose side are on the back of victories over Celtic and Hearts, witnessed the poor Pittodrie pitch at first hand on Scotland duty last month and will bear it in mind.
"We went to Ross County and didn't adapt to the conditions well and got beat," he said.
"Aberdeen's (pitch) doesn't look to be in the best condition. It's the same for both sides but it does affect your planning and selection."
Motherwell defender Shaun Hutchinson is suspended after picking up a sixth booking. But Simon Ramsden is available after missing the defeat of Hearts with a knock.