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Paul Third: Aberdeen need to change course as Stephen Glass heads towards deep waters

Stephen Glass was a dejected figure following Saturday's loss at Livingston
Stephen Glass was a dejected figure following Saturday's loss at Livingston

Aberdeen are sailing perilously close to deep waters once more as an unpredictable campaign yet again heads back towards season-defining territory.

Saturday’s 2-1 loss at 10-man Livingston makes it one point from the last three games against St Mirren, Ross County and Livi.

Coming on the back of a transfer window where the glaring needs of the squad went unaddressed in the eyes of the fans – and this writer, too – a perfect storm is brewing again.

For all Aberdeen’s signs of improvement, it is their continual inability to better the teams in the bottom half of the table – and of course a truly atrocious away record – which continues to hang over manager Stephen Glass like the sword of Damocles.

The only saving grace at this point is the teams around the Dons – with the exception of an impressively-consistent Hearts – are every bit as inconsistent as they are.

But all it needs is for one side to find some form and Aberdeen’s hopes of playing in Europe next summer will be sunk.

A pivotal week looms large – again

In short, Glass can ill-afford too many more of these damaging defeats.

Celtic visit Pittodrie on Wednesday. Given the form they are in, it is a challenge fraught with danger for the Dons, but at least they can draw some solace from their performances in the four matches against the Hoops and Rangers so far this season.

But the bigger and more pressing issue at hand is the trip to Fir Park this weekend to face Motherwell in the Scottish Cup.

Motherwell’s Kevin van Veen scored both goals in his side’s 2-0 win at Pittodrie

A place in the quarter-finals is at stake, but there has been precious little in the data to offer any real encouragement of Aberdeen progressing.

Two away wins in the league all season, beaten by Well home and away so far.

A third loss will be fatal for the club’s cup hopes.

Can the Dons boss lead a revival for a second time?

Glass has been here before and managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat to save himself. He needs to do it again.

The Aberdeen manager found himself under major scrutiny following a 10-game winless run from August to October.

The 2-1 defeat at Dundee was viewed by many as being the final straw of his tenure and prompted a well-documented passionate defence from chairman Dave Cormack on national radio.

Dons chairman Dave Cormack.

The chairman’s intervention helped break the miserable run of results with Aberdeen picking up two wins from their next three games in October before losing all three matches in November.

The Dons somehow fought their way back into contention for a European place thanks to a much-improved run of four wins from five games in December.

An excellent display in a 1-1 draw with Rangers and a comfortable win against Edinburgh City in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup last month had Dons fans believing the only way was up for their team in 2022.

But a worrying regression to the form shown in that miserable run in the first of the season has resurfaced and the fans’ patience for it to improve is not as strong as it was first time around.

A quick look at social media can tell you that – with supporters looking at Dundee United, with one win in their last 11 league matches, still somehow doing enough to knock Aberdeen out of the top six at the weekend.

That is why the benefit of the doubt shown earlier in this campaign is nowhere to be found now and fans are directly tweeting the chairman to voice their dismay.

Results are required and the need has become urgent. That much has become clear.

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