Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has stressed that Aberdeen need to put their cup exit behind them and not allow the negativity to undermine their European quest.
The forward netted his first goal for the Dons in style against Raith Rovers on Sunday but the Fifers hit back to win 2-1 and set up a Premier Sports Cup quarter-final at Celtic Park.
Aberdeen’s second-half collapse delivered a major blow to supporters who were hugely encouraged by their team’s early-season form, but Emmanuel-Thomas knows the players have to look forward.
The Dons face Qarabag in Azerbaijan on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa Conference League play-off as they eye an extended run in the group stage.
Emmanuel-Thomas said: “It was a great feeling for me to open my scoring tally but the end result was disappointing. But obviously we have a big game on Thursday to look forward to where we can put things right.
“You can only dwell on it for so long because, with the schedule we have, if you keep that negative energy around you for too long, it can start to spread around the building and get everyone on a downer.
“Obviously we spoke about it on Sunday after the game, we had our coach journey home to speak about it, and coming in on Monday it’s about moving forward to what’s coming up next.
“We can’t change what happened so you can’t have too many negative thoughts on what took place and what can’t be changed. The next thing is to move on to Thursday and hopefully we can turn it around.
“Playing in Europe is a key thing to a lot of players so for me personally it would be a great achievement and it’s something the players and staff here are trying to make happen to the best of our ability.”
Meanwhile, former Aberdeen defender Tommie Hoban has retired from football without making an appearance for his new club, Crewe.
The 27-year-old joined Crewe in the summer after being released by the Dons.
The former Watford player made 44 appearances for Aberdeen last season after fighting back from the latest serious knee injury to hit his career, and he told Crewe he wished to retire three days before their Sky Bet League One opener.
Explaining his decision on Instagram, Hoban wrote: “It’s been a very difficult decision to make, but ultimately it’s a decision every player has to one day make, and I feel that now is the right time for me and my family.
“I understand some Crewe fans may be disappointed at the timing of my decision. However I always want to give 100 per cent in anything I commit to, both on and off the pitch, mentally and physically I no longer feel I can do that and don’t think it would be right to continue.”