Niall McGinn has urged Aberdeen to go back to basics in the search for success in 2020.
The Dons have battled with inconsistency in the first half of the season and manager Derek McInnes admitted they were far from the team he wants them to be in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Hearts.
They head into the new year in fourth, a point behind Motherwell but comfortably clear of Kilmarnock and the chasing pack. In their last six games, Aberdeen have won two, drawn two and lost two, with narrow victories over Hamilton Accies and Livingston amid that run.
Northern Ireland international McGinn came off the bench on Sunday to grab a point against Hearts, the last game before the winter break, and McGinn wants the Dons to use the time to get back to what they are good at.
He said: “I think it’s to finish as high as we can in the league and get a good run in the Scottish Cup. We need to get back to keeping clean sheets and scoring goals.
“We’ll have big Sam back after the break and we need to get back to what we’re good at, which is being hard to beat and keeping clean sheets because we’ll always create chances. It’s all about finding that consistency.
“We’ll enjoy our downtime and spend some time with our families and some will go on holiday and use it for rest and recovery. But once we meet up again and go to Dubai we’re going there to work hard and recharge our batteries.
“It’s a nice time to go away but the most important thing is we’re focused when the Dumbarton game comes around.”
The Dons will have leading scorer Sam Cosgrove back available for the Dumbarton game, after he missed the games against the Jambos and Livingston through suspension. McInnes opted for two strikers at Tynecastle, with Curtis Main and Bruce Anderson starting up front. Main was substituted after 55 minutes for James Wilson, with just two goals between the other three strikers.
McGinn added: “He’s our top scorer so he’s always going to be a big miss regardless, he’s a player who regularly scores goals for us. And we as attacking players want to help him as much as possible whether it’s assists or goals, it’s down to the likes of myself and others to come the forefront when Sam’s not there.
“I was delighted to get the free kick but all in all it was a disappointing result.”