Centre-back Ross McCrorie warned Aberdeen defenders must cut out ‘daft mistakes’ to kick-start the season.
The Dons are 10 games without a clean sheet and seven without a win.
Despite the lack of shut-outs, McCrorie insists confidence is not fragile ahead of Sunday’s trip to St Mirren.
However, the 23-year-old accepts eradicating costly slip-ups will give the Dons a launchpad to start delivering much-needed wins.
He said: “It’s the wee daft mistakes that are creeping in and that’s what we need to tidy up on.
“Once we do that I think we’ll be good again.
“We’re letting ourselves down now and again with those mistakes which we are trying to get out of our game.
“We need to kick-start our season and accumulate as many points as we can and that starts with St Mirren on Sunday.
“I wouldn’t say we are that far away as we’re not really conceding many chances in a game.
“We haven’t been playing entirely bad – it’s just the small details.”
McCrorie confident the tide will turn
Those small details have become damaging with mistakes at the back costly, especially when combined with a lack of cutting edge in attack.
Aberdeen’s defending for St Johnstone’s goal in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat was calamitous.
From losing possession in their own half, to the failure to close down Stevie May and usher him wide, then the inability to close down, or save, May’s 20-yard shot.
Aberdeen have not registered a shut-out since a 2-0 defeat of Dundee United in the opening game of the Premiership season on August 1.
In the 10 games they have failed to secure a clean sheet, the Reds have conceded 15 goals.
McCrorie insists there is no sense of dejection within the squad.
He said: “As a whole we’re still very confident.
“Once things start to click into place we’ll be good again.
“We look within the team and the quality we’ve got is a real good standard.
“So we’re more than confident the tide will turn.”
Ignoring ‘outside noise’
During the winless, run Aberdeen have taken just two points from 12, exited Europe and crashed out of the League Cup.
There has, inevitably, been criticism directed at the Dons that boss Stephen Glass recently termed ‘outside noise’.
McCrorie insists he ignores the flak.
He said: “I just don’t listen to it, I’m not really interested.
“As a footballer, you are in your own wee zone, your own wee world.
“What other people have got to say I’m not really bothered.
“It’s not just me – I’m pretty sure all the other players in there, it doesn’t bother them at all.”
Aberdeen must make possession count
Aberdeen enjoyed 75% of possession against Motherwell (2-0 loss) and Ross County (1-1) but failed to make it count.
In the recent 1-0 loss to St Johnstone, the Reds again dominated the ball, with 66% possession.
McCrorie said: “We have been dominating games in terms of possession.
“But we know we need to start turning that possession into results.
“Hopefully, once we get that win and three points, we will get ourselves going on a run.
“We can’t change the past, those previous games are gone now.”
Having played predominantly as a midfielder and at right-back last season, McCrorie has been utilised at centre-back this campaign.
Veteran defender Andy Considine is out injured until the new year with cruciate ligament damage (knee) that required surgery.
Manager Stephen Glass bolstered his centre-back options with the summer transfer window capture of two Scotland internationals – Declan Gallagher and David Bates, who recently arrived on a three-year contract from German Bundesliga 2 side SV Hamburg.
McCrorie relishing physical battle
McCrorie is expected to start at centre-back at St Mirren – and is relishing a physical battle in a clash where he will face former Pittodrie team-mate Curtis Main.
🔴 All focus on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/E8M3p4ObKC
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) September 22, 2021
Striker Main was transferred to Shrewsbury from Aberdeen in January, but returned to Scotland with the Buddies in the summer.
Main has scored twice for St Mirren, but has failed to net in their last eight games.
McCrorie said: “I’m looking forward to the St Mirren game.
“It will be a physical battle with them, I know what they’re like.
“I’m good friends with Curtis. Obviously he was at Aberdeen with me last year and I know him really well.
“He’s a real physical player.
“And, any player, if you don’t relish the physical battle then I don’t know why you’re playing football – because it’s always physical.
“Curtis is a top player and I respect his abilities.
“It will be a good game.”