Aberdeen’s defence needs to tighten up after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Hibs.
After a pretty even first half the Leith side took advantage of defensive lapses from the Dons to take the points.
The Reds’ defence hasn’t been as solid so far this season as in recent campaigns.
In the Premiership they have kept only six clean sheets in 17 games, a figure Derek McInnes and his defenders would want to be higher and there have been no shut-outs in the last five games.
Defensively the Dons have had issues all season.
Clean sheets are precious for any team and the fewer goals conceded the better.
However, Aberdeen haven’t kept as many shut-outs as they would like.
There has been a lot of chopping and changing of personnel in the back four this campaign for a number of reasons including injuries and suspensions, which doesn’t help.
Generally a settled back four helps when it comes to keeping the ball out of the net and the Dons haven’t had that too often this term.
But that’s not an excuse because too many goals have been conceded in the first part of the season.
Defence is the foundation of any team and you then build around it.
If you can keep plenty of clean sheets then it helps the creative players because sometimes they know they only need to conjure up one goal to win a game.
But if you’re leaking goals it doesn’t give the team a solid platform to build from and attackers can’t always be expected to score two or three goals to win matches.
Against Rangers, Aberdeen gifted them two goals in the first half. But then after that they looked solid and didn’t offer up many more chances as they came back to draw 2-2.
They were pretty solid in the first period against Hibs but then the second half wasn’t up to scratch.
Saturday was a disappointing day for the Dons, particularly with their impressive recent record against Hibs.
There was very little in the game in the first half and Aberdeen probably had the best chance when James Wilson’s shot was parried but Sam Cosgrove couldn’t quite sort out his feet to finish off the rebound.
It was an open and even game in the first period with not a great amount of quality in the final third.
But in the second half Aberdeen failed to deal with the threat of Martin Boyle.
You expect him to make runs in behind and the Reds were unable to counteract it as Boyle put the Hibees in front.
In a bid to get back in the game Aberdeen manager McInnes made a triple change and adjusted his shape to a 3-4-1-2.
A change of formation had worked well last Wednesday against Rangers as the Reds came back to earn a point. But against Hibs it seemed to give Jack Ross’ team more space to exploit and they took advantage by scoring two very good goals.
However, all three goals were disappointing to lose from a defensive point of view and I’m sure McInnes will be asking questions of his defenders.
Hibs were deserving victors at Easter Road as they were the superior team in the second half and Aberdeen’s defending let them down.
The result means Aberdeen drop to fourth in the Premiership table behind Motherwell which won’t please anyone at Pittodrie.