Aberdeen’s poor run in front of goal needs to end quickly.
The Dons face Hibs tomorrow at Easter Road in a battle of third versus fourth.
For much of the season, it’s been a case of looking up the table and hoping to challenge second-placed Celtic.
But things have stalled for the Reds, who have only won twice in nine games and failed to score in five of those fixtures.
That return isn’t up scratch and needs to improve to secure a European spot.
A good performance and result is required to kickstart things again and the Dons will hope they can deliver it against Hibs.
As poor as the goals were that Aberdeen conceded against Livingston in midweek, the response to them is more concerning.
Even at 2-0 down, the Dons had 75 minutes to find a way back into the game, but it never looked like happening.
Despite having Livingston penned in for most of the second half, chances were still hard to come by
Deadline day signings Fraser Hornby and Callum Hendry made their debuts, but neither had a clear-cut opening.
The problems before they arrived, with a lack of ammunition for the strikers, are still there.
Hornby, Hendry and Florian Kamberi – once his international clearance is completed – can be good additions, but they need to be given chances.
The confidence of the Aberdeen players will have taken a knock because of the poor run of form and that’s not helping when it comes to trying to create chances.
Too often moves are disjointed and break down as a result of sloppy passes and at the minute too many times the safe option is being taken.
If chances were being created and missed that wouldn’t be so bad, because, if you keep getting chances, eventually you will start to take them – but right now there’s not enough chances being created.
The goals the Dons conceded against Livingston were very poor.
For the first, Joe Lewis will know he should have stopped the cross from going in the net. It’s an individual error like any player can make, but when goalkeepers make mistakes they get magnified because they usually lead to a goal.
But the way the move started was also disappointing, with Greg Leigh carelessly giving up possession in his own half.
The second goal was hard to believe from an Aberdeen perspective with the space Nicky Devlin was allowed inside the box.
I also think it may be time for a change of captain.
It’s nothing against Lewis, who is still a fine goalkeeper and a key part of the side, but I think it’s time for Lewis Ferguson to be given the armband.
The midfielder is the heartbeat of the team and leads from the front in the same way Graeme Shinnie did.
Even if he’s not having his best game, he demands the ball and tries to make something happen, puts demands on his team-mates and tries to get more out of them.
Ferguson is a natural born captain and, being in midfield, he can communicate with everyone in a way that Lewis can’t because he’s in goal.
Lewis has been a good skipper, but in my opinion Ferguson is ready to assume more responsibility and take on the armband.
Striker shake-up was right move
It wasn’t all incomings for Aberdeen at the end of the transfer window with three strikers leaving.
Sam Cosgrove moved to Birmingham City for £2 million and the time was right for the Englishman to leave. The Dons got good money for him, having only spent £30,000 to sign him three years ago.
The fee may not be as much as the Reds would have hoped for this time last year potentially, however, things have changed a lot since then and clubs have less money to spend.
Cosgrove also did not hit the same heights this term as he has in the last two seasons.
But he has a reputation as a goalscorer as a result of his two prolific seasons with Aberdeen and now it’s up to him to try to establish himself in the English Championship.
Curtis Main departed for Shrewsbury and, although his work-rate could never be faulted, he never seemed like a player who could consistently deliver goals.
He threatened to in fits and starts, without ever going on a good scoring run during his 18 months.
Bruce Anderson also joined Hamilton Accies on loan for the rest of the season.
This is a big opportunity for the 22-year-old. His stint with Ayr during the first half of the season didn’t work out particularly well.
But now Anderson has the chance to establish himself in the Premiership and prove he can score goals in Scotland’s top-flight.
Looks like seasons below Championship won’t be finished
It seems like football below the Championship won’t resume before the beginning of March.
Trying to complete the lower league and Highland League seasons looks an increasingly difficult ask and the Scottish Cup is also still to be played.
With the number of teams left in the cup and the number of ties to be completed, I find it hard to see the tournament being completed by May 8 as hoped.
When the greenlight is given for football below the second tier to restart, the SFA and SPFL will have a lot of fixture problems to deal with in the leagues and cup.