The only plus point Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass took from defeat at Motherwell was his scope to change the team next weekend.
The Dons had three times as much possession as Motherwell and 20 efforts at goal but were on the end of a 2-0 loss.
It was a first Premiership defeat of the season but a sixth match without victory in all competitions and Glass signalled there would be a shake-up of his starting line-up when St Johnstone visit Pittodrie on Saturday.
After asserting there were no positives to take from the trip to Lanarkshire, Glass told Red TV: “The positive is that we have got a big group of players who are pushing to get in that team and the competition is real, and someone will feel it next week.
“You can’t expect to play every week when you have got that amount of the ball and you don’t do much with it.
“It’s important that the players know there is competition for places, and they will. It’s important we get back on track next Saturday.”
Marley Watkins missed a couple of good chances on his return to the team with Glass missing Ryan Hedges and recent loan signing Austin Samuels. Samuels is expected to shake off a leg injury to face Saints while Hedges faces another few weeks out.
“It’s two players that obviously add to the attacking power we have got and sometimes it shows when they are not on the pitch,” Glass said.
Motherwell leapfrogged Aberdeen into the top four in the table after a third successive league win, sealed by goals from Kevin Van Veen and Juhani Ojala, but manager Graham Alexander believes his side have another gear.
Norwegian defender Sondre Solholm Johansen made his debut after becoming the club’s 12th summer signing following a major turnaround, and Alexander is still moulding his team together.
“We worked them hard in the two-week period with a bit of rest in between but our training sessions are always intense because you have to play at an intensity, and the players are capable of it,” he told the club’s media team.
“We are still short of where we need to be but that will come with time. But while that time is ticking on you need to pick up points and win games.
“We are delighted for the players because they deserve it, they work exceptionally hard on the training pitch. They are together, they are a unit and together with the supporters we made it a brilliant atmosphere.
“Our performance and the supporters’ backing was great to see and feel – we felt it on the sidelines.”