Aberdeen could have built on their win against The Rangers on Wednesday night, and done the same with St Johnstone, but it wasn’t to be, as a lacklustre Dons fell 2-0 at Pittodrie to the Perth side this afternoon.
It was a different display versus what we saw on Wednesday night, and the Dons suffered the lack of any cutting edge in attack – we could have played all weekend and still not scored.
And ultimately we were punished by two quick goals in succession in the middle of the second-half, by Joe Shaughnessy and Blair Alston.
Their first goal game from a corner kick which Shaughnessy met and directed his header past Joe Lewis from 12 yards.
And just three minutes later, Blair Alston curled a 25 yard drive beyond Joe Lewis to make it 2-0.
And it doesn’t get any easier, as we go straight into a midweek match against Livingston on Tuesday night.
Derek McInnes told the club website after the match: “It went wrong when we lost a simple goal from a set piece. Up until then, certainly the first half we were the better team with a good element of control in the game. We got into some good areas and a lot of balls flashed across the box.
“We spoke at half time about trying to show a bit more desire to get on the end of that last pass and I thought it was clear we lacked a bit of inspiration and creativity today. We missed Gary Mackay-Steven and Niall was rested with the exertion of the last couple of games. The ones that came in to give us a bit of freshness I don’t think maybe did enough to have that impact on the game that we were hoping for.
“The first goal is always important and we know St Johnstone are a team who when they come here like to sit in and hit on the counter attack and we were aware of that. But they are a good side and a good side at set plays and the first goal was very important.
“It was too simple for Joe (Shaughnessy) to get a free header and it’s really disappointing. I just think we looked like a tired team and I think the exertions of the last two games was clear. We needed more intensity and creativity and more speed and it wasn’t there.
“I can’t be too critical of my players, but I think I can be looking for more from the ones who came in. Certainly, for the ones who have had to play with 10 men at Ibrox for long spells and also the cup final with everything that takes out of you when you’re playing against the better sides.
“I can’t be too critical, but we’re just looking for that bit more consistency. At half time we spoke about the importance of getting that first goal. I thought fatigue would come into the game as this is the third game in six days and we had to make sure we got up to it. I think we missed some key players and missed that creativity and inspiration that a team looks for when they are at home.
“St Johnstone do us on the set play and from then on in they were worthy winners and I’ve got to say that. Once they got their noses in front we huffed and puffed and we were void of any real ideas or any intensity to get back in the game.
“You’re always disappointed when you lose. We were guarded of this third game in the six days being the one we were mindful of, hence why we freshened the team up. With Cosgrove being suspended there was a forced change and that’s why we rested McGinn. His last two games he’s went toe to toe with Tierney and Tavernier and we thought we’d take the opportunity to freshen it up.
“Young Connor has been doing well and we kept him in the team and that allowed Scott Wright and Stevie May to come in. We’ve defended very well the last couple of games, but I think today we needed that bit of speed and creativity and inspiration in the forward areas and unfortunately it wasn’t there.
“The players will get a day off tomorrow. It’s clear for me that some need it and as I say I can’t be too critical of them. They are hurting today, but they are normally far better than they showed in terms of that physical output. I think for any player to be at their best they’ve got to make sure they are as fresh as possible.
“We’ll rest them down and look after them on Monday and be mindful of the demand of the games coming up. Hopefully we can give a strong 90 minute performance rather than just a decent 60 minute performance and get back to winning ways. It’s disappointing, but it happens and hopefully we can have one or two back. Certainly, we’ll have Cosgrove back and maybe on or two others.”