Skipper Shinnie left ‘annoyed’ by Aberdeen’s poor run of home form

Graeme Shinnie in action for Aberdeen.
Graeme Shinnie in action for Aberdeen.

Club captain Graeme Shinnie today accepted Aberdeen’s Pittodrie slump is concerning and demanded an immediate improvement at home.

The midfielder was left “annoyed” after the Reds’ home hurt continued with a dismal 2-2 draw with St Mirren, the side rock bottom of the Premiership table.

Aberdeen had to fight back from a goal down twice to salvage a point against a struggling Buddies side who had lost six straight league matches.

Scotland cap Shinnie did not pull his punches in his indictment of both his own performance and that of the Dons against the relegation battlers.

“Not good enough,” he admitted.

However, the concern is that it was not a one-off at Pittodrie as the Dons have taken just two points from the last 12 at home.

Sandwiched amid that run was a 1-1 Scottish Cup draw against Stenhousemuir, bottom of Scotland’s third tier.

With a Scottish Cup quarter-final tie against either Rangers or Kilmarnock on March 3, fixing the home form is a matter of urgency.

Shinnie said: “The home form has been annoying and it is something we have to deal with.

“We have not been good at home since the turn of the year and that is something we have to put right.

“The form and the way we have played in the home games has not been good enough.

“Stenhousemuir came up and got a draw (1-1).

“Against Queen of the South (4-1 win) we scored good goals in the second half but I don’t think we played overly great in the game.

“Normally our home form is strong but recently it has not been good enough and that is something we have to put right.”

Prior to the recent slump, Aberdeen had only dropped eight points at home all season – in 11 Premiership matches.

Now they have dropped 10 in the last four league matches at Pittodrie.

In contrast, the Dons’ form on the road – six straight wins – has kept them within touching distance of second-placed Rangers and still in the cup.

Dropping points to the league’s bottom side was damaging, but the Dons did not lose any further ground on Rangers, who drew 0-0 with St Johnstone.

Shinnie said: “At this stage in the season this has been a missed opportunity, with other results.

“We need to get back to winning ways.”

Midfielder Shinnie was uncharacteristically despondent after dropping points to St Mirren. He also refused to trot out any excuses for the result.

He said: “We weren’t good enough. We need to be so much better as St Mirren are bottom of the table. When you score two goals at home you should be winning against the team that is bottom of the league.

“I am annoyed at our performance as the first half wasn’t good enough. We didn’t move the ball about quick enough. We were slack in possession, from me especially.

“It is not as if we played well, missed some good opportunities and were frustrated.

“Throughout the team we were slack with the ball and St Mirren were comfortable in the way we were lacklustre and tried to get the tempo up.

“We said we needed that tempo before the game but we didn’t do it. In the second half we then lost another goal, which is annoying and not good enough.

“After that we were fighting to try to get back in the game.

“Although we got the goal back, it didn’t really salvage anything.

“At this stage of the season chances don’t come around too often. If we want to challenge right at the top then games like these (St Mirren) are ones you need to be winning.”

Aberdeen suffered further disappointment at the weekend when defender Tommie Hoban was stretchered off in the first half with a knee injury.

The on-loan Watford defender, 25, twisted awkwardly when attempting to change direction.

Hoban was sidelined for the entirety of last season following surgery on a cruciate ligament injury, although the injury sustained at the weekend is to the other knee.

Hoban had only recently returned for the Dons having been absent for five months following shoulder surgery in August.

Shinnie said: “I am gutted for Tommie. He had done so well to get back to being fit again.

“He has had such a good couple of weeks’ training and you could see the buzz in his eyes to be back involved and playing again.

“To see that was devastating and I feel bad for him. I wish him well in his recovery and hopefully he can bounce back again.”

The future of club captain Shinnie remains unresolved as the midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season.

Aberdeen have offered the 27-year-old a lucrative new deal.

A number of Championship clubs including Wigan Athletic, Hull City and Brentford have been monitoring Shinnie’s situation.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes confirmed he had held fresh talks with the midfielder recently and had not given up hope of retaining Shinnie.

McInnes hoped to have clarification, one way or another, over whether Shinnie was staying either this week or next.

After the disappointment of dropping points to St Mirren, Shinnie was in no mood to discuss his future.

He said: “After a game like that I have no thoughts on my contract situation.”