Former Don Steve Cowan insists a change of attitude is needed at Aberdeen as they bid to rescue their season.
With Hibernian set to visit Pittodrie on Saturday for what has become a must-win game for the Dons Cowan believes the Edinburgh club, who he joined after leaving the Dons, can serve as an inspiration for Aberdeen.
He said: “With the squad Jim Goodwin has there has to be a change of attitude and mindset. There has to be an absolute will and desire to win.
“I’m not saying the players are not trying to win but there has to be a greater focus from the squad.
“Jim needs more from the squad he has got and it starts from the back.
“They need to stop leaking goals and if you can win those games 1-0 then as we’ve seen from other teams it can quickly propel you up the league.
“Look at Shaun Maloney at Hibs. They didn’t score for three games prior to the Scottish Cup game at the weekend but they didn’t lose any goals either.
“Those three points have kept them ahead of Aberdeen.
“You have got to shut the door at the back. Aberdeen have a good experienced goalkeeper there in Joe Lewis but the back four have got to do more in front of him.”
Dons can still turn season around
Cowan insists all hope is not lost as Aberdeen bid to rescue what has so far been a season to forget.
The 59-year-old, who was part of the Aberdeen set-up from 1979 to 1985, has been a regular member of the matchday commentary team for the club’s RedTV this season.
It has been hard to be positive about the Dons for much of the campaign with the 1-0 loss at Rangers in their last outing making it 10 games without a win in the league for the club.
But with three games remaining for Aberdeen to make up a four-point deficit and secure a top-six place after the split Cowan believes the Dons need to find their form now.
He said: “Clearly if Aberdeen go on a good run and pick up seven points out of nine in their next three games it possibly gets them back into the fourth or fifth position so all is not lost.
“But there has got to be massive improvement right across the park.
“It has been a very disappointing season based on what the ambitions are for Aberdeen.
“I know and people know very well they should be going for third spot in the Premiership based on the size and budget of the club.
“It has been very disappointing and so far it has been a season to forget.”
Senior players must lead the way
New boss Goodwin expressed his intent not to bring in free agents following his appointment last month.
Cowan has called on the senior players to lead the way in the run-in and believes new manager Goodwin will be looking to his experienced campaigners to provide the inspiration needed on the field.
Cowan said: “All over the pitch there has to be an improvement. Lewis Ferguson needs to step up to the plate, Declan Gallagher, Jonny Hayes and the other experienced guys have got to do more.
“Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who has been an absolute disaster; these guys have got to do better.
“Aberdeen are now in the position of hoping other results go their way but from the manager’s point of view, if they don’t finish in the top six it won’t fall on his shoulders.”