Aberdeen’s season has turned into a procession of frustrations, the latest of these vexings being the one-nil loss to Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday.
It’s not surprising, Aberdeen losing to Celtic at Parkhead – the Dons have only won one league game in thirty matches against Celtic.
What was vexing was that after Aberdeen had finally got over their scoring drought with Callum Hendry’s header ending the six game hoo-doo in front of goal last weekend – off the back of that Aberdeen have to go to Parkhead, for a second time in two weeks, to try build momentum on what was a rather historic victory over a poor Kilmarnock side.
Lewis Ferguson said in his post match interview that the destiny of third place is out of Aberdeen’s control – the Dons are four points behind Hibs who currently occupy the ‘best of the rest’ moniker.
However there is a glimmer of hope for Aberdeen in the fact Hibs are still susceptible to surprise losses – as Aberdeen lost to Celtic, Jack Ross’ side succumbed 2-0 in a lacklustre display at home to Motherwell who have been going through their own tribulations this season, currently sitting ninth.
Lewis Ferguson after the Celtic game: “It’s not really down to us at the minute. Hibs are in control so it is up to them and whether they want to get that spot or not.”
McInnes lamented a lack of confidence against Celtic, which is obviously a good assessment of his side with Ferguson coming out after the match and speaking in a rather dispiriting tone.
Of course confidence is going to ebb away and eventually disperse all together after the season Aberdeen have had to endure.
From having one of the best squads in the country, injury and late transfer action has left McInnes and his players unsure of Aberdeen’s identity.
The roving three-four-three formation has been through some testing times with the loss of Watkins, Hedges and Wright and the injury concerns of Hayes.
McInnes further reaction speaking to the BBC after the Celtic game: “We lose the goal and I thought we lost a degree of confidence. I think you have to reset and play the game again. We had plenty of the game to get something. When we go through the video you remind them of so many good things in the game, but you also have to be more demanding of that final bit. We remind the players of the level of performance, we remind the players of the collective spirit, we also remind them that there is 21 points to play for. We’re rubbing our hands for the next game and we still have Celtic and Hibs to come to Pittodrie.”
–Reaction: Celtic 1-0 Aberdeen In The SPL, McInnes “Annoyed And Frustrated”
–McInnes Trying To Find The Balance In The Most Difficult Circumstances After Aberdeen Finally Overcome Poor Form
–Week’s Review: Tiger’s Concession, Six Nations Chaos And Dons Back On Form
McInnes has tried hard to keep a settled side but has had to completely rebuild his attacking line halfway through the season.
There is lots for Dons supporters to lament however Aberdeen are still a good side, with a good core of players – Considine, Ferguson, McCrorie – and, lest we forget, hold the third biggest footballing budget in the country.
Perhaps McInnes could take a gander down the A92, across the Tay, towards West Lothian and the Tony Macaroni Arena – renamed the ‘Spaghettihad’ after Livi’s extraordinary fourteen game unbeaten run under David Martindale.
Martindale, who led the Lions to their first cup final in almost twenty years on Sunday, has been candid about his past and his management in recent weeks.
One of the interesting points to pick up was Martindale’s recruitment policy at Livi, saying top of his wish list in a player are the ‘four As’ – Application, Attitude, Ability, Appetite.
Here’s the secret tot Livi’s success written out in black and white.
If you look at the Aberdeen squad many of the players meet the four A’s, so perhaps we’ll move up the alphabet to ‘B’ and add ‘belief’ to complete a Dons player.