Aberdeen’s form in front of goal needs to improve having drawn a blank in two of their last three games.
The Dons struggled to create chances and were unable to find the net in Saturday’s stalemate with Dundee United at Pittodrie.
With the quality of forward players in Aberdeen’s squad, Derek McInnes and the Red Army expect better.
It’s not for want of options either with Curtis Main, Sam Cosgrove and Ryan Edmondson all vying to be the main striker.
In support of them on Saturday, the Reds had Ryan Hedges, Niall McGinn, Jonny Hayes, Matty Kennedy, Scott Wright came on as well and Lewis Ferguson is also dangerous when he gets forward.
When you assess the quality at Pittodrie, it’s a bit baffling as to why chances aren’t being created and aren’t being taken.
It’s something that McInnes will be looking to find the answer to.
The purpose of Aberdeen’s shape and playing with a three-man defence seems to be to allow as many attacking players as possible to get on the pitch.
Sometimes it can be a case of not getting the creative players involved in the right areas often enough.
The shape has worked well for the Dons this season, but when there are a number of good attacking players in the squad and it’s a struggle to create chances, you’re looking for answers as to why and everything, including shape, can be assessed.
On the other hand, the Reds have conceded just once in the last five games which is a great record.
That shows if Aberdeen can create more chances and score goals they should win because the three at the back has looked very solid lately and hasn’t been leaking goals.
Searching for a prolific striker
Creating chances is one thing, but the Dons are still searching for a striker who looks capable of taking the opportunities on a regular basis.
The goals Cosgrove scored in the last two seasons – when he reached 20-goal mark – had a massive influence on results.
If you can find a striker who can put the ball in the net regularly, it makes a big difference.
But, this season, none of the strikers have looked particularly prolific.
McInnes has three options in Cosgrove, Main and Edmondson. All three have had issues with injury at different points, but none of them have managed to go on a good run in front of goal.
Cosgrove and Main have both hit the net three times and Edmondson has bagged two goals.
Ferguson is Aberdeen’s top scorer this season with nine goals and Hedges is next with eight – that tells its own story.
Two midfielders being close to double figures at this stage of the season is a very good return.
But you want to have a striker you can rely upon to be close to double figures to ease the burden and that hasn’t happened.
McInnes has given them all opportunities, but none of the three frontmen have fully grasped them, however, it is a double-edged sword because more chances need to be created for them.
The draw with Dundee United
Reflecting on the 0-0 draw with Dundee United at the weekend, the Dons looked lively outside the box in the first half.
But there wasn’t much excitement inside the box, despite dominating possession.
United seemed quite happy at times to allow Aberdeen possession.
As a result it was up to the home side to find a way of breaking them down, creating chances and scoring goals.
Hayes and Kennedy combined well on the left flank on a number of occasions and Hedges also looked a threat, but there weren’t enough chances created.
The positive was keeping another clean sheet, but it was still two points dropped.
Being more potent and finding the net more regularly is the problem the Dons need to solve and, if they can, it can be a very good season.
The Reds are still third in the Premiership and Hibs’ form has dropped off dramatically.
Aberdeen look, as they have for most of the campaign, the side best placed to finish third and the opportunity is there to put pressure on Celtic in second.
Having Scott Wright back is a big boost for Aberdeen
Scott Wright’s return after two months out is a welcome boost for Aberdeen.
The 23-year-old started the season very brightly and has been missed during his time on the sidelines.
Wright brings something different to the midfield with his pace and trickery and hopefully he can pick up from where he left off.
Although still a young player, now is the time for youth academy graduate to establish himself in the first-team.
Wright was on his way to doing that before his hernia injury and if he can stay clear on injury then he can cement himself as a regular for the rest of the season.
63' | ABE 0-0 DUTD | #StandFree
Sub for Aberdeen:
👏🏼 Great to have you back Scott Wright.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) January 2, 2021
The opportunity is there for him and while we’ve known about Wright’s potential for a number of years, it’s time for him to start fulfilling it.
If the Scotland Under-21 international can reach the form of earlier in the season then he will.