Midfielder Jamie McGrath has warned Aberdeen must stop conceding “sloppy goals” to kick-start their stuttering league campaign.
The Dons are languishing a lowly 10th in the Premiership with only three wins from 13 league fixtures.
Aberdeen suffered another Premiership set back when losing 2-0 away to Hibs on Sunday.
The Reds finished third in the Premiership last season to secure European group stage qualification and that is the target again this term.
Summer signing McGrath admits the pressure is on to start delivering league wins to rise up the table.
McGrath reckons Aberdeen played well against Hibs, but accepts it is points not performances that count.
And he revealed boss Barry Robson’s positive message of encouragement at full-time at Easter Road.
McGrath said: “We know we have to start winning games.
“It has been a tricky period for us, playing game after game against big opponents.
“We know we need to start putting points on the board.
“But if we play like we did at Hibs where we created chances, then we will be fine.”
Robson’s full-time message after loss
At full-time at Easter Road Robson told his team it is the best they have played since his appointment as manager in late January this year.
McGrath said: “He (Robson) told us we need to be upbeat.
“He told us it was the best we’ve played under him since he has come in but we need to defend our goal better.
“Sloppy moments cost us.”
Regret at costly ‘sloppy mistakes’
It was a unwanted perfect storm for Aberdeen at Easter Road as defensive mistakes were punished and scoring chances not converted.
Republic of Ireland international McGrath accepts the Dons were left regretting “sloppy mistakes” which led to both Hibs’ goals.
McGrath believes scoring the opening goal is crucial in the Premiership.
That is particularly relevant for the Dons who have failed to win any of the seven league games where they have conceded first this season.
The 27-year-old said: “We conceded from a set-play, that is not normally us.
“We have been brilliant defending our box.
“It was a key time in the match when it was 1-0 and we shot ourselves in the foot.
“And Hibs’ first goal was just one ball over the top.
“The first goal in this league is important, it allows momentum and confidence to grow.
“To be fair, after the sucker punch we dug in and created chances and could have gone in level at the break, at least.
“In the second half, we created five or six very good chances to score and Bojan missed a penalty.
“It was just one of those days.
“We can’t be too down on ourselves but we need to start getting points.
“We are shooting ourselves in the foot a bit, conceding sloppy goals at the minute.
“If we keep doing what we are doing, in terms of creating chances, then we will do okay.”
Missed chances like ‘water off a duck’s back’ go goal hero Miovski
Normally lethal leading scorer Bojan Miovski missed a number of goal chances against Hibs.
Already on 11 goals this season Miovski hit the post twice and had a second half penalty saved.
McGrath insists Miovski will have no hangover from Easter Road when the Dons face Kilmarnock at Pittodrie on Wednesday.
He said: “Bojan was due one to be fair because he has bailed us out a lot.
“For whatever reason, their keeper pulled off some unbelievable saves.
“On another day, he would have scored a few.
“Bojan is brilliant and will have no issues over Sunday.
“It will be water off a duck’s back.
“We just need to keep providing for him and I am sure he will get back scoring again.
“It was frustrating because our fans travelled in their numbers and left with nothing.
“I know performances don’t get you anywhere but we can take some positives from the way we played even though we lost 2-0.
“We probably should have scored five or six and on another day we would have taken the three points.”
Pittodrie return for Derek McInnes
Next up for the Dons is Wednesday’s home clash against Kilmarnock, managed by former Dons boss Derek McInnes.
McGrath said: “They are a very good side.
“Kilmarnock have two big boys up top and they are a handful.
“We have to be on it again.
“If we play like we did on Sunday then we will take the three points”