Aberdeen’s poor home form could prevent them from finishing second in the Premiership again.
Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Livingston means the Dons have only won once in nine games at Pittodrie.
In the league it is six matches without a victory, stretching back to a 2-0 win over Hearts on December 22.
Failing to beat Livi means the Reds are still third, eight points behind Rangers, who drew 1-1 with Kilmarnock.
After being second in the Premiership for the last four seasons it is now a tough task for Aberdeen to be runners-up this term.
If you are chasing the Gers you are hoping they drop points – but that only benefits the Dons if they can take advantage by winning their games.
The most disappointing aspect of the poor home run is that it’s games Aberdeen should be winning where they have slipped up, such as Livi on Saturday and last month’s 2-2 draw with St Mirren and 2-0 loss to Hamilton.
It means second place is in Rangers’ hands.
Reds boss Derek McInnes has spoken about aiming to reach 70 points again, which would require them to get 18 points from the remaining 24.
If they could do that it would give them a chance at finishing second.
But it is a big ask with the current home form, particularly post-split when you are playing the other top-six sides.
The chance is still there for the Dons, but it will take a big improvement in home form to make finishing second more of a possibility.
It was still surprising that Aberdeen couldn’t beat Livingston, despite the poor Pittodrie form.
In recent years, apart from Celtic, the Dons have been the most consistent at beating teams in the bottom six.
This season that has changed and it will be frustrating for McInnes, the players and the fans.
What made the result against the Lions unusual was that the Reds took the lead but couldn’t hold on to it.
On countless occasions during McInnes’ time in charge the Dons have been 1-0 up and gone on to win even if they haven’t been at their best. Now it’s six Premiership home games without a win. That is disappointing and in my opinion it is the creative side of the game where Aberdeen have been falling short.
On Saturday Connor McLennan looked the most likely player in a red shirt to unlock the visiting defence.
Niall McGinn scored, but the winger perhaps hasn’t hit the heights of previous seasons. With Gary Mackay-Steven and Greg Stewart missing, it puts a big onus on other creative players.
Good home form has been a major part of the success Aberdeen have had in the league in recent seasons.
Four successive second place finishes have come as a result of taking care of teams like Livingston at Pittodrie.
Six league matches in the Granite City without a win shows the problem facing the Reds and it’s down to not creating enough.
When the Dons go away from home the onus is on the opposition to take the game to Aberdeen.
That means they can sit in at times and play on the break a bit more and that seems to have suited the Reds lately – hence winning eight and drawing one of their last nine away games.
However, it is frustrating that Aberdeen haven’t been able to build on that run by winning more at Pittodrie.