Aberdeen and boss Barry Robson still have a lot of work to do to convince fans the squad built in the summer can challenge for a third-place finish in the Premiership.
The performance in losing 6-0 to Celtic at Parkhead on Sunday was completely unacceptable and will have left supporters very, very disappointed.
Aberdeen are now ninth in the Premiership table, just two points above bottom club Livingston, albeit the Dons have two games in hand.
I still believe Aberdeen have talented players and a strong enough squad to finish third. It is an opinion I have never drifted away from.
However, the loss at Celtic proved there is still a lot of work required to achieve that target of finishing third.
The squad maybe needs a little strengthening in the January transfer window.
And there is plenty of scope to improve on their current league position of ninth – but the performances have to improve to achieve that.
I believe Aberdeen’s squad are more than capable of pushing for third as they have strikers in Bojan Miovski and Duk who can both score goals.
There are talented midfielders in Leighton Clarkson, Connor Barron, Jamie McGrath, Graeme Shinnie, Dante Polvara and Ryan Duncan.
Jack MacKenzie and Nicky Devin are more than capable wing-backs and full-backs.
And there are five central defenders to choose from as well.
Individually there is enough talent there to form a good team, but I just haven’t seen it on enough occasions this season.
There have been games where the Dons have played well, but others where they have performed very poorly.
My belief is there is the basis of a good team there, but it is just a case of working with them and pulling it all together so that third spot can be achievable.
That is down to the manager, his coaching staff and his players to form that team to give the fans hope.
Manager Robson did a great job last season to secure a third-placed finish and bring group stage European football to the club.
There was enough time in the summer window for the club to get a squad ready to balance European group stage action with domestic commitments.
During the summer there was a lot of activity with 13 new signings to build up that player pool.
I just can’t buy into Aberdeen’s European fatigue factor
Aberdeen have to be able to cope with European football on a Thursday and then playing in the Premiership three days later on Sunday.
Robson was right to say they can’t use the exertions of the 2-2 draw with PAOK in Greece as an excuse for the heavy loss to Celtic.
There were four changes to the starting line-up to face Celtic from the one who faced Group G leaders PAOK in the Europa Conference League.
That is four fresh players out of 10 outfield on the park – so there is no way Europe can be used as an excuse.
You also have to remember Celtic suffered a demoralising 6-0 midweek defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Celtic managed to come back from that battering and turned things around against Aberdeen.
I can’t buy into the fact that Europe should have a major impact on a club like Aberdeen.
Losing to Celtic ended a positive run of recent results and means Aberdeen go into the international break on a low note.
Dons at least won crucial clashes with Well and Hibs
However, the two games in the recent run of five straight away fixtures that I felt would define the season were Motherwell away in the Premiership and Hibs at Hampden in the Viaplay Cup semi-final.
Aberdeen won both of those games so that gives something to build on.
The supporters also have a cup final to look forward to against Rangers at Hampden on December 17.
Winning a trophy would be the perfect answer to that dismal performance against Celtic at Parkhead.
Frustration at final ticket allocation
Aberdeen are right to try to fight for a 50-50 split for the allocation of tickets for the Viaplay Cup final against Rangers at Hampden on December 17.
The club have to fight for what they think is right, which is a 50-50 split.
I would imagine the majority of Aberdeen supporters also feel a 50-50 split is right.
Aberdeen are intent on fighting for their fans.
However, the SPFL recently confirmed the Dons will receive 19,500 tickets with Rangers receiving 25,000 tickets for the final.
When Aberdeen make cup finals again in the future, I don’t think this argument over ticket is going away as the authorities have made their position clear.
I don’t see Aberdeen changing their position either, so, in the next cup final, we will have the same issue again.
Aberdeen supporters will be outnumbered by Rangers supporters at Hampden for the final.
The best way to silence the Rangers fans is by putting up a strong performance – and also by getting a first goal.
Even though Aberdeen are not getting the full allocation they hoped for, the best response is to get the result you hope for.
The result is winning the club’s first trophy since the League Cup in 2014.