Jim Goodwin admits it is unacceptable for a club of Aberdeen’s stature to be outside the top six and hopes to start moving up the table with an unlikely victory against Rangers this weekend.
The Dons dropped to 10th spot in the Scottish Premiership following the midweek 2-0 defeat against Hearts at Tynecastle.
With four games remaining before the split, they sit only four points adrift of fifth-placed Hibernian in a tightly-congested Premiership table
Goodwin, who succeeded Stephen Glass in the Dons hotseat last month, feels luck hasn’t been with his side in his first three games in charge, but hopes that will change at Ibrox this afternoon.
He said: “It is unacceptable for a club of Aberdeen’s stature to be outside the top six, but there is still time to turn that around.
“I don’t think it would be a shock to anybody for me to say that for this team, this club, the supporters and level of investment we have underachieved and have to do better.
“I have had some good honest conversations with the players as you would expect, but I won’t publicly lambast them.
“This is as much my problem as anybody else, albeit I’ve only been in for a couple of weeks, but the honeymoon period isn’t slow coming to an end.
“People expect change and they expect results and I thought we saw glimpses against Dundee United and should have won the game.
“The Hearts game was disappointing and that gets back to the level of consistency.
“I’m not making excuses, but we have had injuries to key players and Covid issues we’ve had to deal with.
“We had perfectly good goals chalked off against Hearts and Motherwell.
“Hopefully the big decisions at Ibrox don’t go against us.”
Aberdeen have produced some of their best displays this season in their meetings with Rangers.
The Dons felt they deserved to take more than a single point when they drew 2-2 at Ibrox in Octobe, having led by two goals before the Gers salvaged a point thanks to James Tavernier’s controversial late penalty.
There were also plenty of talking points when the Dons drew 1-1 with Rangers at Pittodrie in January in the first game back after the winter break.
Again the Dons could have taken maximum points against a Rangers side that finished the match with 10 men following Ryan Kent’s dismissal.
Goodwin hopes his players can put those experiences to good use at Ibrox this afternoon.
He said: “It is definitely something we can lean on.
“There have been games during the course of the season where this group has played very well.
“There have been others when they have dropped below the levels required.
“The big thing for me is to get that level of consistency.
“We can’t have a drop off like we had at Tynecastle.
“We need to try and make sure we get that level of consistency.
“We turned over possession far too cheaply on Wednesday and we need to do a lot better.”
Despite their poor season to date, the Dons are the only team in the top flight yet to taste defeat against title-chasing Rangers.
Goodwin added: “The league is very competitive and Aberdeen have done well in recent games against them.
“Long may that continue.
“The boys always seem to be able to raise their game against the Old Firm.
“But it is important they raise it in every other game as well.”
Goodwin was disappointed his side followed up an encouraging performance in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Dundee United with an abject display at Tynecastle.
He said: “Hopefully you will see a far better performance than Wednesday night and we will be defensively solid.
“We need to make amends for what happened at Tynecastle.
“I want to get my team back to the level that’s required and expected of them and we need to do that between now and the end of the season.
“We cannot allow this campaign to just fizzle out as we have to get a win as soon as possible.
“Everyone will have Rangers as firm favourites, but we have to go there in the belief we can cause an upset.”