Aberdeen’s title charge was dealt a major setback yesterday when it was confirmed midfielder Jonny Hayes is facing a month on the sidelines.
The Irishman, who has been one of the Dons’ leading performers this season, was substituted midway through the first half of Monday’s 3-1 defeat by Caley Thistle with a torn hamstring.
The 28-year-old Dubliner is expected to be sidelined for three to four weeks because of the complaint.
It means Hayes will miss tomorrow’s trip to Firhill to face Partick Thistle as well as next week’s visit of St Johnstone to Pittodrie.
The midfielder is unlikely to be involved in the following fixtures against Dundee United and Kilmarnock before their final match before the international break at Motherwell on Saturday, March 19.
After losing their 12-match unbeaten league run, manager Derek McInnes is calling on his players to deliver a much-improved display against Alan Archibald’s men tomorrow.
The sides drew 0-0 at Pittodrie in December and the Aberdeen manager warned his players cannot afford another lacklustre performance as they try to draw level on points with leaders Celtic.
He said: “We never played at the level that we are capable of against Inverness. When we don’t play at our level we can be vulnerable. But we will pick ourselves up and try to start another winning run. It is important we show we are still in there.”
Aberdeen, meanwhile, has launched a consultation with the club’s supporters about a proposal to turn the Merkland Stand into a singing section.
The proposal would involve moving the Merkland Stand’s family section to the lower area of the Richard Donald Stand in a bid to improve the atmosphere at the ground.
A club spokesman said: “Moving the Family Stand to the RDS Lower would then allow us to create a noisy area within a section of the Merkland Stand where those supporters who wish to give the team maximum vocal backing can do so.
“We appreciate there may be limitations, most notably the upheaval this would cause for a number of our season ticket holders based in both the RDS Lower and in parts of the Merkland Stand who have held their seats for a number of years.
“We do not wish to alienate any members of our support which is why we are keen to be as open as possible with our supporters regarding this proposal hence the reason for this extensive consultation process.”