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Duncan Shearer: My plea to Aberdeen fans over Barry Robson – don’t protest before Dundee game

The Dons need their fanbase to rally behind the team and under-pressure manager Barry Robson ahead of Tuesday's visit from Dundee.

Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Malcolm Mackenzie/ProSports/Shutterstock (14319684ce) Aberdeen manager Barry Robson arrives before the cinch Scottish Premiership match between Heart of Midlothian and Aberdeen at Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh Heart of Midlothian v Aberdeen, cinch Scottish Premiership - 27 Jan 2024
Aberdeen manager Barry Robson. Image: Shutterstock

I have a plea to make to the Aberdeen fans – please do not protest outside Pittodrie before tonight’s game against Dundee.

Social media has been rife with calls for a protest against boss Barry Robson outside the stadium tonight, but I’m hoping it does not come to that.

I understand the frustration among the support at what has been a rollercoaster season but protesting only helps the opposition if it takes place before a ball has been kicked.

I’ve seen manager crumble from the abuse they get and it is important fans realise the role they have to play.

Roy Aitken worked tremendously hard to try to turn things round towards the end of his time in charge when I played for the club, despite large sections of the support calling for change.

Roy Aitken. Image: SNS

The atmosphere around the club at the time was tough for everyone involved.

The fans need to focus on what they are good at: turning up and cheering their side through what is clearly a difficult period.

If games don’t go your way, by all means make your feelings known – but personal abuse is not the way to go.

Trust your board to make the big decisions when appropriate.

Hounding people before matches helps nobody at Pittodrie.

Third place has gone for Aberdeen

I understand the feelings around the club right now.

Let’s not beat around the bush here – Aberdeen’s hopes of catching Hearts in the race for third place have gone following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Tynecastle.

Aberdeen might win their three games in hand on the Jambos, but that would still leave them 10 points behind.

I just don’t see this Hearts team slipping up for the second season running.

It pains me to say that but the gap has simply become too big.

Fourth place is still there, though. Kilmarnock are nine points clear of the Dons and it’s not impossible or the Dons to close that gap.

But the biggest concern for me with this Aberdeen team right now is how their heads seem to go down when they go a goal behind.

Hearts’ second goal against the Dons at Tynecastle summed things up perfectly for me.

The ball broke to Lawrence Shankland just inside the box and I watched both Aberdeen’s centre-halves stand static three yards away from the Hearts forward.

It was almost as if they were asking Shankland, one of the best strikers in the country: “What are you going to do?”, and he promptly beat Kelle Roos with a terrific strike.

It was a fantastic finish from Shankland, but he should never have been allowed to get a shot away in the first place.

I think it’s moments like that which are what Barry Robson is referencing when he talks about not making excuses but needing to find solutions.

It could all have been so different had Bojan Miovski’s goal for the Dons not been ruled out.

Hearts’ Zander Clark, Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski and referee Kevin Clancy in discussion at half time of the Premiership match between Heart of Midlothian and Aberdeen at Tynecastle. Image: SNS.

It was awful to see his terrific goal chalked off, but by the rules of the game, it was correct.

There was no intent at all – but Miovski did cut across the Hearts player and trip him.

Pivotal week ahead for Ross County

I have to hand it to Derek Adams – the Ross County manager is certainly not one for shying away from bold decisions.

A quick glance through County’s starting line-up at Celtic Park on Saturday showed seven loan players in the team.

Six of them have arrived this month, while four of them made their debut at the weekend.

It takes a brave man to throw so many new faces into a side so quickly, but perhaps it tells a bigger story of how frustrated the manager has been with the team since he arrived.

He clearly feels a fresh injection of new faces is required to kickstart the club’s season, and the team who faced Celtic did remarkably well considering they barely know each other.

When the Staggies fell behind in the first minute, I feared the worst, but they stuck to the task manfully and came mighty close to upsetting the odds and getting something from the game.

A 1-0 defeat at the home of the champions is not the worst result in the world by any means.

Yes, a defeat is a defeat regardless of the scoreline, but there were far more positives to be found than negatives in the performance.

Staggies have a chance to pull away from the dropzone

It was a timely boost for Derek ahead of a pivotal week for the club.

They face Livingston tonight followed by St Johnstone and Motherwell in the next seven days.

If County can click into gear in those three games, it will put them firmly on the path to moving away from the relegation zone.

Tonight’s game is the most important one for me.

Livi boss Davie Martindale was brutally honest in his assessment of his side’s 4-1 defeat by Dundee on Saturday.

He said his team was Championship-bound the way they are playing – and time will tell whether it was a frank assessment or a tactic employed to provoke a reaction from his players.

Alex Samuel has a great teacher in Duncan Ferguson

Alex Samuel after his hat-trick helped Caley Thistle beat hosts Raith Rovers 3-2.
Alex Samuel after his hat-trick helped Caley Thistle beat hosts Raith Rovers 3-2. Image SNS.

For the second week running Alex Samuel is dominating the headlines at Caley Thistle following his hat-trick in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Raith Rovers.

Inverness boss Duncan Ferguson would have been thrilled to see his new striker score in his first two games following his loan move from Ross County.

But to see him score four goals and miss a penalty is an incredible boost for the Caley Thistle manager.

Samuel is up and running at Caley Thistle and the striker has given himself a great platform to make a name for himself in the Championship.

He’s a pest, a nightmare for defenders, quick and strong. He also looks willing to take on advice from the dugout, too.

He will learn from one of the best in his manager at Caledonian Stadium.

Whatever Duncan is saying to his loan player, it is clearly paying dividends.