The high from the Motherwell win, came quickly crashing down around the Dons following a 4-0 loss against Celtic at a blustery Pittodrie on Sunday with all four goals coming in the first half.
It was a terrible display from Aberdeen – no character, no leadership – just nothing.
Connor McLennan came into the starting line-up at the expense of James Wilson who was on the bench. Zak Vyner and Greg Leigh continued their midfield roles.
It didn’t take long for Celtic to get their opener, the defence crumbling to allow Odsonne Edouard to finish a shot into the bottom left corner of Joe Lewis’ goal in the 10th minute.
Five minutes later, Niall McGinn was beaten to the ball by Frimpong, after his pass was hit towards goal by Shay Logan, Lewis blocked the shot, but Frimpong was on hand to turn the loose ball into the back of the net to put Celtic two ahead in 15 minutes.
We managed to settle it down for a wee while, but Celtic went three ahead in the 37th minute from a through ball from Mohamed Elyounoussi who took a touch before James Forrest carried the ball forward to beat Lewis.
And on the stroke of half time, Elyounoussi fired home a fourth for Celtic, chesting down a Forrest shot to put it into goal.
Derek McInnes made two changes at half-time, Craig Bryson went on for Connor McLennan and James Wilson came on for Niall McGinn.
Celtic continued to dominate proceedings, and whilst we were more organised we weren’t creating anything.
Our first effort on goal game with 20 minutes to play, after Greg Leigh headed over from close range.
Derek McInnes told the club website “I thought we were awful.
“After losing the first goal we lacked personality and determination. It almost felt like anytime the ball went into our box in the first half it ended up in a goal.
“Up until the first goal it looked as if we knew what we were doing, trying to put a press on, got up the pitch, we knew Celtic would have that rotation and find the spare man through their centre halves and midfield.
“I felt for Greg and Zak in there. As good as they were last week, when you are up against three international players, good players that Celtic have got in there, it was a bit more difficult for them to get to grips with that midfield.
“That wasn’t the biggest issue for me. The biggest issue was a lack of tackles, a lack of contact, lack of determination.
“The first goal in particular is awful. How Edouard can just come off, receive a throw in, the lack of a challenge, lack of determination to stop that happening was particularly poor for me.
“It didn’t get much better defensively and we lost confidence from then on in. We looked like a team that stood back and admired Celtic’s good play.
“When Celtic are at their best we can still lose that game but I don’t expect us to lose the type of goals that we lost today because I expect us to let Celtic know we are there a bit more than we actually did.
“The second half, we made changes, but I am not kidded, we get a clean sheet second half but that is more to do the excursions of Celtic from Thursday night. The game was done in their eyes, they had done their job and still controlled the vast majority of the game.
“We can’t take Celtic on with a possession based game, especially with the lack of midfielders we have got at the moment but what we can do is let them know they are in a game far better than what we did today.
“That was a huge disappointment from me today. I was astonished at some of the defending and I was astonished at some of the goals we lose. It was painful.
“I can only apologise to the supporters. Our supporters are deserving of far better than that. I think I am deserving of better than that from my team.
“My players are better than what they showed today. The personality came a wee bit when Bryson came on, you can hear Bryson, he is organising, he’s cajoling, he’s barking instructions, he’s criticising, he’s making people do things better.
“He was a lone voice out there at times. He’s a proper person, he knows the game. I need influence and those types on the pitch more.
“All week I have expected us to be far better than what we would be today.
“When the second goal went in there was no real reaction from my team and I almost felt as if though the confidence had gone from the majority.
“I wasn’t expecting that type of performance.
“Ferguson will help us when he comes back. Hopefully Bryson can come in and help us now. He hasn’t been at the physio’s door for the last eight or nine days so we feel as if though we are getting a run of training into him and hopefully that will then play out on the pitch.
“We need player to react in the right way. The only focus now is trying to make sure we win the next two games.
“The supporters should expect better and hopefully we can deliver better over the next few games.
“Once we get our injury situation cleared up, we can start to deliver better and the next time we play the Old Firm, give a better account of ourselves.
“There was a real gulf today. I was seeing them putting so much into the game against Lazio as a real advantage for us. I wanted that to use that advantage, I wanted a quick game, I wanted tempo, I wanted contact, but good players were allowed to be good players today and that for me is disappointing.
“Celtic at times were fantastic but we allowed that to happen. You have got to be far braver.
“All week we have spoke about trying to be more aggressive and get after the game and not allowing Celtic opportunities to enjoy the game and they still found a way. They have got some brilliant players. They have put together a very good squad as have Rangers.
“My concern isn’t them; my concern is my own team and trying to reach a standard of performance that we got last week at Motherwell. The performance was miles away from that today.”
Scott McKenna said: “We were miles off it.
We were nowhere near good enough, we pretty much just let Celtic do what they want.
“Every single one of their goals was soft. We were far too passive, no one wanting to tackle, and we have only got ourselves to look at. We can’t look at anyone else.
“You’re in the team as a defender, you need to make tackles when you are called upon and we didn’t do that today.
“None of us were aggressive enough, none of us seemed sharp enough today and Celtic just ran over the top of us. Edouard got too much time, Forrest, McGregor all enjoyed the game far too much.
“The dressing room was very flat at half time. The manager spoke most of the time, just trying to get a reaction out of us for the second half to stop the bleeding because there was no way we were getting back in the game from there.
“I can only apologise to the fans.
“It is not good enough and we are all aware of that, after the highs of last week and scoring three good goals to being 3-0 down pretty quickly then 4-0 down before half time. It’s hard for us as well as them but we can only apologise.
“The next game is coming quick and we just need to try and move on, but I am sure it will be looked at tomorrow.
“I don’t think I have been 4-0 down at half time before, we just had absolutely nothing about us. No character, no leadership on the pitch. It was disappointing.
“There are leaders in the dressing room, but no one showed it today. It’s all well and good when we are playing good football and we are 2 and 3-0 up but its days like today you need proper leaders to step up and take control of the game, but it didn’t happen.
“Today I was no way near it either. I was at fault for the couple of the goals, I can’t sit here and say anything about anyone else.
“I can only reflect on what I done today. I need to look at my own performance today and make sure that doesn’t happen going forward.
“We had a good weeks training, we had an extra day, Celtic had a game during the week, everything was kind of leaning in our favour, but we were just far too easily beat.
“As players we need to talk about today in a group. There is no point in talking behind each other’s back. It needs to be as a group, and it needs to be constructive because we are all aware it wasn’t good enough, but we need to find the answers.
“Why wasn’t it good enough? Why weren’t we aggressive? Why weren’t we pressing? Why were we too deep? It all questions we need to try and answer ourselves as a group.
“The only good thing is that we have a match on Wednesday, and we need to try and analyse today and get that out the way as quick as possible and we need to focus on that.
“We have got three games before the international break. The only way we can recover from today is go and take nine points out of nine.
“It simply wasn’t good enough.”
|27th October 2019