If Aberdeen can claim third spot it would be a good end to a difficult season.
A few weeks ago it didn’t look like third place in the Premiership was still a realistic hope for the Dons.
It looked like Hibs would take care of the last few games and secure that position.
But Jack Ross’ side’s 1-0 loss to St Johnstone at the weekend, coupled with the Reds defeating Livingston 2-1, has opened the door.
The season as a whole has been a bit unpredictable and that continues to be the case.
Even a point against the Saints would have been a decent outcome for Hibs, but they didn’t manage to get it.
Aberdeen have taken care of their games and given themselves a chance to claw back the deficit.
The race for third spot is still on a knife’s edge with three points between the sides.
Ultimately, it is still in Hibs’ hands, but all the Reds can focus on is beating Hibs a week tomorrow to go level on points and give themselves a chance on the final day.
Next week’s game will be crucial and the Dons realistically need to win.
Otherwise they will require a three or four-goal victory against Rangers at Ibrox on the last day of the season, while also needing Hibs to lose by a similar margin against Celtic at Easter Road.
Finishing third would be a good achievement and give everyone a lift at the end of a campaign which has been largely disappointing.
Players responded against Livingston
After the demoralising Scottish Cup defeat against Dundee United, it was important for Aberdeen to try to finish the season strongly and rescue something from it.
Every manager will say they don’t look at other team’s results.
But Hibs losing has allowed Aberdeen to put the pressure on for third place.
The victory for the Dons against Livingston was important and the Hibees’ loss made it even better.
Aside that it was important for Stephen Glass to get a reaction from his players on the back of the defeat to Dundee United.
That was crucial and Glass did get a reaction from his team at the Tony Macaroni Arena, which is always a tricky away trip.
What have we learnt from the early part of the Glass era?
Glass has now had four games in charge and a few things have become evident about his plans for the future.
It’s quite clear he wants Aberdeen to be more forward thinking in their play.
The effort has definitely been there to get the full-backs higher up the park.
In the first half hour of the draw against Celtic it was like that, but after that it became backs against the wall for much of the contest.
Against Dundee United in the Scottish Cup it was clear the plan was again to get the full-backs high.
But defensively that caused a problem and the Tangerines took advantage of the space they were afforded.
Against Livingston the approach was still forward thinking with Connor McLennan pitched in at right-back, and it looks like Glass wants to get more attacking players on the field of play. The new manager appears to favour a back four with attacking full-backs as part of that.
Looking forward, it seems the approach will be different from Derek McInnes with Glass keen to encourage attacking football.
It looks like the Red Army can look forward to a more attacking style of play, but that is only worthwhile if it produces results, because ultimately Aberdeen need a winning style.
Number of factors at play in bid for 15,000 season tickets
Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack hopes to sell 15,000 season tickets for next term, but a number of factors will determine whether the Dons get close to that figure.
You’ve got to applaud the high target and I’m sure the marketing team at Pittodrie will be working hard to try to achieve that.
There’s nothing wrong with having lofty ambitions as long as they are realistic.
However, to reach that target between now and August there are a number of things which need to happen.
The performances on the pitch in the last couple of games need to be better, if the Dons could also finish third that is likely to further boost season ticket sales.
The signings that are made this summer are also likely to have an impact, and Aberdeen need to bring in a number of new players during the transfer window.
Another factor is the pandemic and the government’s restrictions.
Even if restrictions are eased and supporters can return in sizeable numbers, it will also come down to the confidence of fans.
If they have the chance to get back to attending games, will they feel safe doing so?
Hedges back at a key moment
Ryan Hedges marked his return to the Aberdeen side with a goal against Livingston and he has been sorely missed.
Every team needs their better players available and players that can be relied upon – Hedges has been that player for the Dons.
The Welsh attacker’s performances up until he got injured had been top class, so when you’re without him it’s a major blow.
Every club has issues with injuries and key players being out.
But the timing of Hedges getting injured at the beginning of February combined with Scott Wright and Sam Cosgrove leaving in the January transfer window meant his absence was even more keenly felt.
There’s no doubt when Hedges has been missing the Dons have had less spark in the final third and less of a goalscoring threat.
Things have been slowly improving for the Reds in front of goal and the 25-year-old’s return can only help that improvement.
Hedges is someone who can score and create goals and Stephen Glass will be delighted to have him back for the final two games of the season