We have work to do - McInnes
Derek McInnes insists Aberdeen have some way to go before they can be considered realistic contenders for second spot in the Scottish Premiership this season.
The Dons enjoyed a positive start to the campaign by recording a 2-1 win over Kilmarnock last week and will be hoping for a repeat of the result at Motherwell on Sunday.
The Steelmen are tipped to be strong contenders for the runners-up spot again this term but McInnes believes it is far too early to bill this weekend's clash at Fir Park as a battle between the 'best of the rest' challengers.
He said: "I will down-play that. How can we say we are the two contenders for second spot when we've only played 90 minutes?
"I get what the media think and there are a lot of people predicting that. But Motherwell have proved themselves and they deserve that tag of being up there.
"We haven't and we've got work to do to prove that tag."
McInnes is hopeful of a victory over Stuart McCall's men but says he will not read too much into the result if they do return to the Granite City with three points.
He added: "I wouldn't say it puts down a marker. Again, I think that's getting ahead of ourselves.
"For me, if we can go and get a positive result at Motherwell, it's a fantastic result and no more than that.
"It's always a tough fixture and always has been a tough fixture. If we can take all three points, it will be a fantastic result.
"If we can take a point, I'm sure that's a decent result on the road as well but we want to try to win the game."
Motherwell head into the meeting with Aberdeen on the back of their Europa League qualifying exit at the hands of Kuban Krasnodar.
The odds were stacked against Well after they suffered a 2-0 defeat at home last week, before a 1-0 loss to the Russians last night sealed their fate.
McInnes said: "I don't think they'll be hurting and I don't think the game will be a factor at all.
"Come Sunday, the Motherwell players will be more than ready to take part in a game against us."
McInnes has no fresh injury concerns and while Andrew Considine is edging closer to a first-team return as he continues his recovery from a broken leg that has sidelined him since December Chris Clark remains out with a knee injury.
Barry Robson has been struggling with a slight knee knock but will be fit for the trip to Fir Park.
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall is confident his players will be fully prepared for the clash with Aberdeen following their trek to Russia.
Motherwell arrived back at Fir Park after 6am on Friday morning following their Europa League exit against Kuban Krasnodar.
But key forward-thinking trio James McFadden, John Sutton and Iain Vigurs did not make the trip and McCall believes the players who did play in the 1-0 defeat have recovered well.
McCall told MFC TV today: "I've spoken to the players and they've all said they had a good sleep.
"Just like the staff, the worst they've suffered is mosquito bites. They must have had a feast the night we trained in Russia - I am covered in them and have had to use Calamine lotion to take the itch out.
"Other than that, everyone is feeling good. We've trained well and we now prepare for a big match against Aberdeen on Sunday."
McCall will welcome back James McFadden, Iain Vigurs and John Sutton for the clash after the trio were left behind to prevent them aggravating tight muscles.
Lee Hollis will start in goal despite Gunnar Nielsen's penalty-saving debut in Russia.