Frustration at Aberdeen’s shot-shy performances was only compounded by yesterday’s display at St Mirren.
A goalless draw in Paisley, in which the Dons struggled to work Buddies goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky only gives ammunition to the Reds’ critics.
Negative chants from the away supporters before the end, directed towards manager Derek McInnes, were louder.
The fans are tired of watching what the Dons are offering just now.
McInnes said: “We’ve had one defeat in five and it’s another clean sheet – defensively we were good and in the middle of the park we were fine.
“We’re just looking for a bit more slickness in the final bit, more responsibility to take shots on or look for the final pass. We had 11 corners – we should be doing better with the size of my team and the delivery of Niall McGinn. Everyone is disappointed we’ve not managed to win. We didn’t do enough to get that goal and we’ve got to take responsibility for that.”
Matty Kennedy was whisked in from St Johnstone on Friday to make his Aberdeen debut. A side desperately lacking in creativity and flair in its two post-split games needed a spark.
Kennedy started wide on the left and higher up the park than McGinn opposite, giving him a more direct route of attack against makeshift full-back Ryan Flynn.
He tucked in narrow at times to provide support to Cosgrove and showed a willingness to take on his opponent before swapping flanks with McGinn close to the 20-minute mark.
“I’ve been boring on the fact we need more speed and creativity,” said McInnes of Kennedy. “He’s a confident boy and very positive. He’s not had any games since we’ve come back off the winter break, so I’m sure he’ll feel better for the 90 minutes. I liken his career path to Jonny Hayes – drifted about in England, come back up to Inverness for a couple of years and came to us at the same age. He showed that he’s got a confidence and positivity to go and make the difference.”
The double-pivot of Funso Ojo and Dylan McGeouch gave Aberdeen an element of control in the middle of the park but Lewis Ferguson struggled to see much of the ball and was dropping deeper to become more of a factor.
As has become the Dons norm, possession was plentiful but chances were harder to come by.
Ash Taylor thumped a header wide and Scott McKenna had a shot deflected over, while referee Don Robertson inexplicably ignored a penalty call for Conor McCarthy’s blatant manhandling of Cosgrove.
Aberdeen’s attacking fortunes did not look like improving. Rather than an additional wide player, you could argue a more creative central player should be on the agenda. They lack any penetration through the middle. All the play is directed toward the flanks to put balls into Cosgrove.
When the opponent manages to defend Plan A, the lack of ideas is there to see.
Ryan Hedges could be the answer. His plight is a strange one.
Signed as a replacement for Gary Mackay-Steven in the summer, the 24-year-old Wales international is arguably the more rounded player.
However, he does not appear to have convinced enough to warrant an extended run in the side.
Four goals and eight assists in 27 appearances is impressive when compared to the lack of goals from Aberdeen’s forward players – Cosgrove excepted. Hedges may consider himself hard done-by to start only two of Aberdeen’s last eight games.
St Mirren are organised and well-drilled, pressing to the tune of Jim Goodwin’s regular orders from the touchline.
Ilkay Durmus, the match-winner in August, got the better of Shay Logan on numerous occasions. Hedges was introduced with 20 minutes to go and drifted centrally to offer an outlet, with some success, but still Aberdeen looked feeble in attack.
Both Ojo and Hedges had long-distance efforts without success, as again the Dons laboured the point.
McInnes added: “The players are frustrated they haven’t won all three points.
“Getting back to winning ways is always key and getting winning runs going again.
“Hopefully we can get a positive result at Ibrox on Saturday, which is always a difficult place to go.
“But we’ve done it before when not really expected to.”