Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson says his promoted side's "honeymoon period is over" after facing every team in the Scottish Premiership.
Despite failing to win in seven matches, County sit sixth by a point.
With three wins and five draws from 12 games, the Highland side are seven points behind Saturday's fourth-placed opponents Aberdeen.
"We had an end-of-quarter review with the players and it's been a good first quarter," Ferguson told BBC Scotland.
"The honeymoon period of being back in the Premiership and having played every team - that goes, that is done now, and the harsh reality is the games come thick and fast against opposition that we've no given right to get any points from."
Despite their six-point buffer from the bottom two places, Ferguson insists securing their top-flight status would be a "huge success" for he and fellow boss Stuart Kettlewell.
"We've experienced first-hand how difficult it is - especially when you are a Highland club, and you are geographically where we are it's really difficult competing against the big city clubs," he added.
"We give our players a lot of credit for the attitude, application and the spirit they've shown. We're going to fight to the end, but we'll need to sharpen up given how brutal it can be in the Premiership."