Derek McInnes has taken aim at his misfiring Aberdeen strikers and urged them to step up to the plate.
No Dons striker has more than two goals this season and McInnes feels they have been given enough opportunities to find the back of the net.
Sam Cosgrove, James Wilson and Bruce Anderson have all scored twice this campaign, while Stevie May has netted just one. Anderson’s goals have come without a start and in 261 minutes of action, as Gary Mackay-Steven heads the club’s goalscoring chart with six. Lewis Ferguson is next with three.
A striker was a top priority for McInnes in the summer, particularly with the departure of Adam Rooney to Salford City. John Marquis and Christian Doidge were both on the Dons’ radar, with a £500,000 price tag on Marquis pushing Aberdeen out of the equation and Doidge joining Bolton Wanderers.
McInnes rejected the notion that his strikers have not been getting the service, ahead of tonight’s game against Livingston, and wants one of them to seize the chance in front of them.
He said: “Every player has got an opportunity – they’ve had enough game-time to show their qualities. I would quite like the fact that my strikers were playing well and scoring goals, so when it comes to picking my team it’s an easy decision to make. It’s the same for any manager – you would like that settled team.
“We’ve had been settled defensively for the last few games and in the middle of the park, I’ve been pretty pleased with what we’re getting on the competitive side and elements of control.
“At centre-forward, I’m probably looking for someone to make my mind up about who should be playing the next game. The best way to do that is scoring goals.
“We’ve tried hard to get Ryan Christie – we were looking for that number 10 role to be filled by him. We never got the striker we wanted in the summer window; we tried with bids to get a striker and it wasn’t enough. We tried for five or six different strikers and the money wasn’t enough, so you have to work with the ones you’ve got in the building and try to make them better.
“James has had a wee knock since the Motherwell game but I went with Cosgrove for the two games in Glasgow because I felt that was the right way to go. Sam did very well. We had a decision to make on Saturday with who came in to the team; James missed out on the games in Glasgow because I went with a different type of striker. It was more down to the level of opponent.
“Our penalty box entries and crosses has been way up there this season, as it has been. That always doesn’t mean you’re creating chances, you’ve still got the quality of the cross, but there’s no real difference in our penalty box entries. In fact there’s been more a lot of the times in certain games than there has been in previous seasons. Just because you get the quantity, you’re still looking for that quality in the final third. It’s normally quality that decides.”