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Joe Harper: Don’t panic – It is still early days in the season for rebuilt Aberdeen

Aberdeen boss Barry Robson must ditch a back three for the Premiership match against Hearts as that defensive set-up is not working.

Aberdeen players on the pitch, who joe harper is writing about the form of.
The Aberdeen players were booed off following their 2-0 loss to Hibernian. Image: Shutterstock

It is far too early in the season to press the panic button about Aberdeen’s disappointing form.

I’m sure manager Barry Robson and the players will have been grafting hard during the international break to find a solution to the flat start to the campaign.

Robson overhauled the squad in the summer and they are clearly still trying to gel.

Either boss Robson hasn’t had the chance to play his best team due to injuries – or he doesn’t know his strongest starting XI yet.

Joe Harper: No need to panic over bad form

Although there is no need to panic, there is certainly the need for a win against Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday.

The Dons must not let their winless start to the Premiership campaign extend to five games.

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson during the match between Aberdeen and Hibernian at Pittodrie Stadium.
Aberdeen manager Barry Robson during the Cinch Premiership match between Aberdeen and Hibernian at Pittodrie Stadium on Sunday. Image: Shutterstock.

There must be an immediate response to the recent 2-0 loss to Hibs at Pittodrie where the Dons were terrible.

A change I would like to see implemented at Tynecastle is ditching three at the back.

It isn’t working for Aberdeen and recent results offer clear proof of that.

Ideally Robson will adopt a back four and go with a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 against Hearts.

Hearts’ form is also up and down at the moment so the game is there to be won.

Aberdeen have an absolutely huge Uefa Conference League clash against Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany looming on Thursday.

The last thing the Reds need is to still be without a league win when thy kick-off their Euro group stage campaign against a Bundesliga side.

Aberdeen players must give absolutely everything at Tynecastle in the bid to end that winless league run.

It is early days, but they cannot afford to let the slide continue and be cut adrift in the bottom half of the Premiership table.

Aberdeen have not clicked after the summer rebuild as the team perform as if they don’t really know one another.

Hibernian’s Christian Doidge celebrates making it 2-0 against Aberdeen. Image: SNS.

Defensively Aberdeen have looked unstable and the midfield has been disjointed.

Attack-wise, the Dons do not look as potent as they were last season, although striker Bojan Miovski is the exception.

Miovski has done really well this season – but the Dons need Duk to rediscover his form.

Duk scored 18 goals last season in all competitions and caused havoc to defences with his pace, skill, strength and eye for goal.

He showed what he has in his locker and Duk needs to turn that on again.

Duk has to start replicating what he delivered last season and hopefully that will come against Hearts.

Aberdeen's Duk bringing the hem of his shirt up to wipe his face
Aberdeen’s Duk during the 2-0 loss to Hibs. Image: SNS.

Losing midfielder Ylber Ramadani in the summer transfer window was a huge blow for Aberdeen that they are still struggling to recover from.

Ramadani was a fundamental part of Robson’s starting XI and his absence has been felt following his transfer to Serie A club Lecce.

Hopefully a player like Connor Barron can step up this season to make an impact in midfield.

Barron is an exciting young talent, but last season was hindered by injury.

A fully-fit Barron can definitely do a job for the Dons this season.

Aberdeen's Duk and Hibs' Lewis Miller
Aberdeen’s Duk and Hibs’ Lewis Miller battle for the ball. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson.

Aberdeen have won just once in seven games so far this season, and that was a League Cup tie against League One Stirling Albion.

It is clear there is much work still to be done with the rebuilt team.

Aberdeen’s minimum target must be finishing third in the Premiership again.

They need to start playing like a team with those aspirations and expectations.

Scots must recover from England loss

Scotland must wipe out the painful memory of the 3-1 loss to England and refocus on the games that really matter.

For all the hype and history of the game against England on Tuesday, it was only a friendly.

Yes, the Tartan Army desperately wanted Scotland to win at Hampden, but it wasn’t to be.

England were by far the better team and deserved the victory.

Now the Scots must quickly move on to finishing the job of qualifying for the Euro 2024 finals in Germany.

Scotland have been sensational in their Euro 2024 qualifying group with five wins from five games.

Scotland's Ryan Porteous and England's Harry Kane in action during the 150th Anniversary Heritage Match
Scotland’s Ryan Porteous and England’s Harry Kane in action during the 150th Anniversary Heritage Match at Hampden Park, on September 12, 2023, in Glasgow, Scotland. Image: SNS.

That is what we should all be focusing on – not a loss to England in a friendly.

There is no doubt the defeat to England will come as a wake-up call to Scotland, though.

England’s one-touch play in midfield was devastating at times and they could have scored more than three.

However, there must be no hangover from that game.

Scotland are close to securing back-to-back qualifications for Euro championships.

That would be some achievement – and would wipe out any memory of a friendly loss to England.

Battle back to fitness for Morris

Hopefully Shayden Morris will return stronger than ever after his latest injury set-back.

The Dons winger has undergone surgery on a hamstring tear and faces up to three-months on the sidelines.

Aberdeen's Shayden Morris and BK Hacken's Valgeir Lunddal Fridriksson fighting over the ball
Aberdeen’s Shayden Morris and BK Hacken’s Valgeir Lunddal Fridriksson during a UEFA Europa League play-off second leg match. Image: SNS

It is another blow for Morris, who missed four months of last season with a hamstring tear in his other leg.

Good luck to Morris in his recovery and hopefully his rehabilitation goes smoothly.