Honest Graeme Shinnie assesses Aberdeen's current situation ahead of testing few weeks

Aberdeen's Graeme Shinnie reacts during the defeat by Hearts. (Photo: Mark Scates - SNS Group)
Aberdeen's Graeme Shinnie reacts during the defeat by Hearts. (Photo: Mark Scates - SNS Group)

Boos, jeers and gestures greeted those who dared venture across to the Roseburn Stand at full time. Others made a quick getaway down the tunnel. Aberdeen’s desperate start to the season – two draws from five matches – is turning the pressure up on the players and manager Barry Robson. Shinnie, the captain, is fully aware they have not been good enough.

“I can understand their frustration and we fully accept we haven’t been good enough,” said Shinnie. “We got a lot of plaudits last season because we did well and everyone enjoyed it. But now we are not doing well we have to accept the criticism. The fans have backed us tremendously but we haven’t been good enough so far. All we can do is start winning games and give them a team to be proud of.

“We have not scored many goals, we didn’t score at home to Hibs and didn’t score at Hearts. And we have been conceding too many goals so we need to be more solid defensively. Last season, that’s what we were very good at - at one stage we conceded one in seven or eight games. We have to be harder to beat. Sometimes it feels like we have been gifting goals and we haven’t been getting them.

“We need to stop beating ourselves sometimes. We need to cut out the sloppy mistakes and make ourselves harder to score against. When you are that team, with the players we have at the top end of the pitch, you know you’ll win games. All we can do is work hard, we have to work together and stick together.”

Aberdeen signed 13 players during the summer – Shinnie was one of them, returning after a successful loan spell last season – but the skipper is not using that as an excuse. “It’s a new group so the boys are getting to know each other still but there’s no rest for the wicked,” he said. “There’s no time to get into action there are plenty of games coming thick and fast to turn it around. This is Aberdeen, we know where we are and we’re at a big club. The only way to turn it around is performances and winning games.”

The Dons can park their domestic travails until Sunday, when they play Ross County, and now enjoy – if that is the right word – the fruits of their labours last season when they take on Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany on Thursday in the Europa Conference League group stages. The Bundesliga giants, who won the Europa League in 2022 against Rangers, are overwhelming favourites to win.

“The pressure is never off, especially in these situations,” said Shinnie. “Thursday will be tough, we know that, but we want to be in these competitions playing against these teams. We are looking forward to it, we’ll need to stick together as a team, defend as a team and help each other out. It will be a beautiful stadium, a good crowd and a good team to play against - so it’s the kind of game you want to be involved in.”