Football - McGinn seeks quick return to form

Niall McGinn is confident that Aberdeen's defeat by Motherwell on Boxing Day was just a blip and he is looking to prove as much when Ross County visit Pittodrie on Sunday.

Derek McInnes's side lost 1-0 at home to the Steelmen to end their four-game winning run in the Scottish Premiership where they sit in fifth place.

However, the Dons forward, 26, believes it was just "one of those days" and is keen to make amends to the Red Army.

"We are still in a really good place at the moment even though we lost to Motherwell," he told Press Association Sport.

"We made chances but nothing would go in for us.

"Motherwell got men behind the ball, credit to them, but I think if we had scored one we might have gone on to win easily.

"We had a big crowd behind us again and their support has been great so hopefully we will show that the defeat was just a blip and reward them with a win against Ross County.

"We have big games coming up, Ross County then Dundee United and we need to start picking up wins again so hopefully we will start with three points on Sunday."

The struggling Staggies are second-bottom of the table and their 2-0 home defeat to Hibernian on Thursday means they have not won a game since they beat the Dons 1-0 in Dingwall in October.

The former Celtic player, though, will not read too much into that result.

He said: "We didn't really play against Ross County in the last game against them up there and they took the chance when it came along. So I think we are due a win over them.

"But teams at the bottom are fighting for their lives and they will be like ourselves, trying to get as many points as possible over the festive period."

McGinn declared himself satisfied with his season to date but is looking forward to an even more fruitful 2014.

"I have been playing wide this season instead of through the middle but I have been playing every week which has been good," said the Northern Ireland international.

"To get nine goals is great for me and I have also been creating chances for others as well.

"We are in the semi-final of the League Cup (against St Johnstone) so hopefully we can get to the final of that and although we have a tough tie against Celtic in the Scottish Cup, hopefully we can get through to the final of that.

"But the league is our priority and we want to push to finish second in the table."

Stuart Kettlewell wants Ross County to make the most of a busy period of games by turning around what has been a poor season so far.

The Dingwall outfit travel to Aberdeen, before beginning the New Year with a Highland derby against Inverness followed by a home meeting with St Johnstone.

County head into the clash still smarting from a Boxing Day defeat to Hibernian.

But Kettlewell believes a win against the Dons could be enough to kick-start their season.

The midfielder said: "It's a great opportunity for us to build some confidence.

"The games are coming thick and fast and, if you can get a win, that should hopefully breed some confidence.

"We want to be playing games and having opportunities to pick up points and hopefully move up the division."

Kettlewell knows a trip to Pittodrie represents one of the tougher challenges in the top-flight.

But he urged County to take some confidence from last weekend's display at Tannadice, albeit they narrowly lost out to Dundee United.

He said: "Taking Celtic aside, going to places like Tannadice and Pittodrie is as difficult as it gets in the Premiership.

"I think we acquitted ourselves well against Dundee United. It was a tough day but we worked hard and stuck together.

"That's a benchmark for what we're going to have to do.

"We're going to have to make sure we're a unit against Aberdeen again.

"We will go there and look to see if we can get a good result and hopefully nullify them.

"When chances come our way, hopefully we can take them."