Stephen Glass has encountered his first real test as Aberdeen manager and it will be interesting to see how he handles it.
Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Motherwell makes it no wins in six for the Dons and while it is still early days in the campaign it doesn’t make for pleasant reading if you are an Aberdeen fan.
It always amazes me how quick these stats start to grow and while Stephen might be new in management he has been in the game long enough to know the only way to change the perception is by getting goals and points on the board.
But Stephen can point to the other statistics from Saturday’s game at Fir Park to show his approach is the right way to go. His side had 75% of the possession away from home, 20 shots at goal of which seven were on target and forced six corners.
Motherwell scored with their two attempts on target and had one corner but we all know the only stat which truly counts is the goals scored one.
Stephen would be more worried if his side was struggling to create and I certainly don’t see that as his squad is as strong as any assembled in the last 10 years in my view.
What worries me more than the team’s recent struggles to put the ball in the back of the net, however, is the poor goals which have been conceded since Andy Considine suffered his cruciate ligament injury against Qarabag in Azerbaijan.
A cheaply conceded penalty at Hearts was followed by the back four being cut open repeatedly in the second leg of the Conference League exit to Qarabag at Pittodrie.
Ross County looked a real threat before the international break as they claimed a point at Pittodrie and now Motherwell have scored two easy goals from crosses into the box.
Considine is a solid defender and one who brings experience and organisation to the backline. The goals the Dons are conceding will be chipping away at their confidence which is why it is vital they draw a line in the sand and get back to winning ways.
The talent is there but it’s just not clicking at the moment. That has to change when St Johnstone visit Pittodrie on Saturday.
Ross County boss needs 90 minute men at Victoria Park
Ross County have similar problems to the Dons in that they seem incapable of keeping the ball out of the net just now.
Following the loss of a late equaliser at Aberdeen before the international break Malky Mackay’s side held out for 64 minutes at Celtic Park on Saturday before conceding three times in the final 26 minutes.
I hope I’m wrong but I would imagine Malky is wondering whether there is an issue with game management and fitness there.
The Staggies are second bottom of the Premiership with a goal difference of minus eight after five games. That’s a worrying start and tells me two things – they are not scoring enough and they are leaking goals.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that will add up to a painful season ahead if they don’t fix those issues quickly.
I’ll be at Victoria Park on Saturday to see County take on a Hearts team which has started the season well and is heading north still unbeaten.
Malky needs a 90 minute performance from his players if they are to get something from this game.
The Caley Thistle juggernaut rolls on
It feels like we’re in Groundhog Day when it comes to discussing Caley Thistle but I’m sure the fans at Caledonian Stadium are not growing weary of seeing their side win every week.
Saturday was the latest test overcome by Billy Dodds and his players as they conceded their first goal in the Championship and duly responded in the strongest way possibly by scoring three goals to win the game.
Brian Graham and the two wide players of Partick caused Inverness problems in the first half but after the break it was clear Doddsy had addressed it and his players took control of the game by pressing Jags high up the pitch and putting them under pressure.
With five wins out of five the focus will now be on trying to keep it that way until the first quarter of the season has been completed. At that point the Caley Jags manager can take stock having faced all of his opponents in the league but the early signs are hugely encouraging for Inverness.
The players I’ve spoken to have loved training and the atmosphere around the club is vibrant. It’s early days but the early signs are hugely encouraging for Caley Thistle.