Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes today demanded his misfiring attack deliver more quality – and goals.
The failure to score in four of the last five games has been at the heart of the recent Dons slump.
Goals have even dried up for leading scorer Sam Cosgrove, who began the season with a bang.
Cosgrove hit eight goals in the opening five matches for the Dons and led the Europa League scoring charts.
However, he has scored just once in the last four matches – the extra-time winner in the League Cup at Dundee.
After the 0-0 stalemate with Kilmarnock at the weekend, McInnes warned his attack must sharpen up.
And he wants an immediate response for Saturday’s home Premiership clash with Ross County.
He said: “The forward areas need to be giving us more.
“I don’t think we got enough right across the top end of the pitch at Kilmarnock.
“We needed more intent, more willing and more quality from them.
“They also needed to pass quicker.
“For us to turn that one point into three, we have to go and ask questions and ask more of the opposition. We didn’t do that at Kilmarnock.
“It is disappointing that we didn’t do enough and make a better show of ourselves.”
Cosgrove’s impressive scoring start to the season made the 22-year-old the highest scorer in Europe after two rounds of fixtures.
It continued the form of last season where the former Carlisle United striker netted 21 goals. However, that is in stark contrast to the other three senior strikers at Pittodrie.
Summer signings Curtis Main, James Wilson and the out-of-favour Stevie May have scored just two goals between then in 2019.
Main, 27, netted in a 3-0 defeat of Livingston by former club Motherwell in February 2.
His previous goal was in a 7-1 loss to Rangers on November 11 last year.
Having signed a three-year deal at Pittodrie in the summer Main has yet to score for the Dons.
James Wilson has also scored just once this year, in the 2-1 win at Hibs on May 19. Prior to that the former England Under-21 international netted in a 2-1 win at Livingston on December 29.
On loan from Manchester United last season, Wilson scored four times and impressed in the post-split Premiership fixtures.
Following the attacker’s release from Old Trafford, Dons boss McInnes beat a number of clubs to his signature.
May’s last goal came in a 4-3 loss to Celtic at Pittodrie on December 26 last year.
He netted a penalty in a 2-1 win over St Mirren earlier that month with his last goal from open play way back in a 4-0 League Cup defeat of St Mirren on August 18 last year.
May has been told he can leave Aberdeen and a deal to join St Johnstone on a permanent contract collapsed last month.
However, that deal is back on and May could sign on at the Perth side before the transfer window closes at midnight on Monday.
Teenage striker Bruce Anderson scored eight goals last season – two for Aberdeen and six on loan at Dunfermline.
McInnes said: “It was a missed opportunity for my front players to go and ask the question of Kilmarnock.
“If we had done that we might just have won all three points. So from that I am frustrated we did not do more, did not show more conviction, more penetration and more forward passes to try to win the game. It is important we do more to win games and not just be content to come away with a point.
“We have to do more to get wins at places like Kilmarnock and that is what we have to get as we go along.”
Having started the 2-1 extra-time defeat of Dundee, international wingers Ryan Hedges (Wales) and Niall McGinn (Northern Ireland) were dropped to the bench at Kilmarnock.
McInnes insists he made substitutions during the game at Rugby Park in a bid to ignite the attack.
He said: “I tried to freshen it up with McGinn and (Connor) McLennan, but it was not really any different in terms of the pattern of play.
“I would have liked to have made another change in the forward area.
“But obviously with Scott McKenna going off with a hamstring injury we had a forced change.”