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Joe Harper: Motherwell defeat shows how much Aberdeen are missing defender Andy Considine

Aberdeen defender Andrew Considine is out injured until the new year.
Aberdeen defender Andrew Considine is out injured until the new year.

Aberdeen are missing the presence of veteran Andy Considine in defence as they leaked terrible goals in the loss to Motherwell.

Scotland international Considine is out until the new year following cruciate ligament surgery in August and his absence has been telling.

Considine is very powerful in the air and clears his lines. He gets the job done.

The Dons have secured just two clean sheets in the first 20 games of this season.

Aberdeen must get their defensive problems sorted out quickly or they will continue to struggle to build any consistent momentum.

Motherwell’s Kevin van veen celebrates his second goal against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

The back-line was all over the place at times against Motherwell and the two goals conceded were shocking.

Motherwell striker Kevin van Veen was left unmarked for both goals and that simply shouldn’t happen.

Aberdeen have not had their injury problems to seek defensively as Considine has been out for the last three months and Mikey Devlin has yet to feature this season.

Defenders Calvin Ramsay, Jack MacKenzie and Declan Gallagher have also missed the last few games due to injury.

That is no excuse for the goals conceded against Motherwell as there was more than enough experience in that rearguard.

Motherwell’s Kevin van veen makes it 2-0 against Aberdeen.

Manager Stephen Glass will know he has those defensive problems to sort out ahead of the next game against Dundee United after the international break.

Aberdeen allowed themselves to be bullied by Motherwell on their own pitch.

I was surprised they were bullied by the Steelmen, because Hearts tried to do it in the previous game but the Reds stood up to them and battled for everything.

That fight and drive rightly saw Aberdeen gain an edge and eventually beat Hearts.

It’s not good enough to fight against the so-called bigger teams in the league and then get turned over by Motherwell – for the second time this season.

Motherwell’s Liam Kelly makes a crucial against Aberdeen.

The fight and desire shown in the resurgence in form against Hearts, Rangers and Hibs has to be there in every single game, for every single minute.

If you switch off or drop that intensity, it will be punished.

Aberdeen had a great opportunity to go into the international break on a real high due to the run of form in the build up to the Motherwell game.

However, they didn’t take it by producing a disappointing performance, particularly in the second half, which lacked energy and oomph.

A slump in form was turned around because the Dons had a go at Hearts, Rangers and Hibs and fought their corner.

Aberdeen rightly received plaudits for beating the two Edinburgh clubs and drawing with Premiership leaders Rangers at Ibrox.

In losing to Motherwell,  positive momentum has stalled.

Now they will have almost two weeks before the New Firm derby wondering: ‘what if’, after a result that brought the Dons back down to earth.

They have to quickly get back on track by showing the fight and desire that got results against Hearts, Rangers and Hibs – and keeping it tight at the back.

Scotland squad can become legends

The Scotland squad can take another huge step towards sealing their place in the nation’s footballing folklore by beating Moldova tonight.

Not just the Tartan Army, but the entire nation, are desperate to see Scotland grace a World Cup for the first time since 1998.

Beat the minnows of Group F in Chisinau and Steve Clarke’s Scots will take a huge step towards Qatar 2022 by sealing a play-off spot.

Obviously the play-offs in March offer a tough obstacle the Scots will have to negotiate, but at least they will be there, fighting to qualify.

Qualifying for the World Cup would be  a phenomenal achievement and if this Scotland side can do it they will become heroes and be remembered for generations.

It’s about pride in themselves and their country and they have to leave absolutely everything on the pitch in Moldova.

Scotland are a better team than Moldova and have to go out with confidence that they can get the job done.

Lewis Ferguson and Jack Hendry during Scotland’s training session at La Finca Resort, Spain

Scotland can’t slow the game down against the minnows and allow them a glimmer of hope.

Which is why John McGinn will be vital as he is buzzing all the time and drives the Scots on.

Go into tonight’s clash with respect, but this is Moldova – not Brazil, Germany, Italy or England.

If Scotland play to their capabilities, they will win to secure that play-off spot – and do it before they face group leaders Denmark at Hampden on Monday.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke during training in Spain in the build up to the Moldova match.

Uncertainty with Ryan Hedges

Hopefully Aberdeen can convince Ryan Hedges to sign a new deal.

The Welsh international’s Pittodrie contract expires at the end of the season.

Aberdeen have already rejected a bid during the summer from Blackburn Rovers for Hedges and the Championship club are expected to come in with a fresh move in January.

Ryan Hedges celebrates his goal to make it 2-1 Aberdeen against Breidablik at Pittodrie

Hedges is a bit like my old Dons team-mate Arthur Graham in that every time he gets the ball the crowd sit up in their seats in anticipation of what he can do.

Hedges is a good player and brings that attacking creativity to Aberdeen.

However, he is a wanted man, so Aberdeen face a battle to keep him long term.