Who would be a manager?
Jonny Hayes has begun planning for the transition from player to coach but the veteran believes the challenges which Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass has faced this season has made him pause for thought.
The former Caley Thistle and Celtic winger set-up his side’s second goal in Wednesday’s 2-0 win against Livingston at Pittodrie in what his club’s first win in four matches.
It has been a season where the Dons have been ravaged by defensive injuries and inconsistency, and Hayes joked it has made him think twice about becoming a coach.
When asked if he had sympathy for his manager Hayes said: “Yes, I am doing my coaching badges.
“They teach you how to deal with a player when he loses possession but I can’t imagine what it is like when you have four players and your whole defence injured at the same time.
“Look at the injuries, the reshuffling the manager has had to do and the Dundee United game, with all the incidents, seemed to sum it up.
“We went down to 10 men in that game and all the niggles and injuries we have had it doesn’t make you want to become a manager.”
Hayes’ tongue may have been firmly planted in his cheek but there is no doubt it has been a difficult season so far for the Dons.
Wednesday’s win was the club’s third in the last 17 matches and only their fifth in 16 league games. A mainstay of the Derek McInnes era where Aberdeen challenged at the top of the table, in Europe and for silverware, Hayes knows there is work to be done to get Aberdeen back-up where he believes they belong.
He said: “I know the standards that are expected here and the league table hasn’t made for pretty viewing in recent months.
“We just keep our heads down, keep working hard and try to pick up as many points as possible.
“We have set standards at this club. Everybody wants European football and the team to be fighting at the top of the league and fighting for cups.”
Back-to-back wins in short supply at Pittodrie
Wednesday’s 2-0 win against Livi ended a three-game losing streak for the club and the challenge they now face is recording back-to-back wins when St Mirren visit Pittodrie on Saturday.
The Dons haven’t won consecutive league matches since the opening two games of the Premiership season in August and Hayes knows that has to change, starting with the visit of St Mirren to Pittodrie on Saturday.
He said: “We haven’t won too many games consecutively and so when we win games we need to take confidence from them. Now we just want to try to take that next three points.
“We will come back because we have a good squad and it is about showing those qualities.
“We still have a bit of work to do to get there. Look at the Livi game and we got a little bit of a rub of the green with the sending off and that might have gone against us in previous games.
“Hopefully, more moments like that can turn into more three points.
“We haven’t had much luck this season. Look at Funso he has played here, there and everywhere and he can play in a number of positions.
“It is a case of getting the head down and working hard and hopefully that will help us in the long run.”
Defensive duo will be crucial
Two aspects of the Dons’ display were crucial to the midweek win with the defence keeping a rare clean sheet while Ryan Hedges also played a pivotal attacking role in a man-of-the-match performance.
The Ross McCrorie-David Bates defensive partnership is the only recognised centre-half pairing fit and available at Pittodrie and Hayes knows the duo and Hedges will be key players in the remaining six matches before the winter break.
He said: “Ryan is brilliant and pivotal to the way we play.
“He links defence and attack really well and gets into pockets of space. He is a very good footballer and at times him, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Marley Watkins link up well.
“We need to try and get that together more consistently.
“Bates and Ross were also brilliant at the back and I don’t think Livingston had a chance all night. That gave us a good solid footing to go and build for the three points.
“We mentioned the clean sheet at half-time. We knew if we got it, it would help us win the game. We were doing well up to half-time, keeping the ball and having good possession.
“It is now important we put a couple of good home performances together.”