A lot of things have happened since an Aberdeen player last scored a goal away from Pittodrie. Christmas, for one.
The team’s inability to make chances has become so chronic and self-fulfilling that no one change was ever likely to prove the cure. Indeed Aberdeen implemented three at once here – replacing the manager, a long overdue return to a formation releasing the wide players further up the pitch, and an obvious attempt to play out from the back – but still could not accomplish the game’s most basic task.
The more it happens, the more apparent the failing becomes, so there’s little point in continuing to go over that ground between now and May.
The increase of the gap to Hibs, now an effective eight points, makes third place functionally unattainable, and leaves the sole focus of the post-split league campaign eking out enough points to keep Livingston from the back door.
If it takes a 0-0 draw at Almondvale to secure it, so be it, for once this season’s story is screwed up and thrown in the bin, it will matter little what’s written on its final page.
Holding in reserve whatever may or may not happen in a quick-fire Scottish Cup, Aberdeen must now take this last five-game stretch as a standalone campaign with the vastly diminished ambition of doing no worse than gathering four points fewer than Livi.
With revolution in the Pittodrie air, all that is left for this team to achieve is the guarantee of European football for the new coach, ensuring his glass is at least half-full.