Today could define the end of season
Aberdeen have not had the best of times recently with increasing pressure on Mark McGhee and the relationship between fans and club becoming ever more strained. A mid-day kick-off is not going to help the atmosphere at Pittodrie today but the tension should ensure there is plenty of excitement in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen have not won a match since the end of January when a 3-0 win at Tynecastle looked to have put them securely in the driving seat for a top six place. This was on the back of a Scottish Cup victory over Hearts at Pittodrie which means the Dons have the recent upper hand in games between the two sides.
There have been some changes since then though. A Scottish Cup shocker to Raith Rovers has put a huge downer on the Aberdeen season and of course, Hearts have changed their management team.
Jim Jefferies had a slow start to his second life as Hearts boss but two wins out of two has put a smile on his face. Ok, that is an exaggeration but even though Aberdeen defeated the Jambos twice last month, you can see that the momentum has possibly swung back towards the Tynecastle club.
Hearts hold a five point lead over Aberdeen in sixth place but Aberdeen have a game in hand. This means a home win would see the Dons move to within 2 points and their game in hand could see them overtake Hearts. However, an away victory would have serious problems for McGhee.
It is still far too early for there to be talk about McGhee’s future at Aberdeen but the club or fans cannot be happy with how the season has panned. Yes, Aberdeen are in the process of downsizing and expectations have to be properly managed but there has been a flatness around Pittodrie.
Two cup defeats to lower league opposition is never going to be well received and if the Dons drop further behind, you can see the crowds drifting away from Pittodrie for the rest of the season. Even at that, would the Dons fans consider a top six finish something worth cheering and fighting for?
It’s debatable but a loss today could really kill off Aberdeen’s season. An 8 point deficit with 12 games of the season to go could easily be overturned but with the confines of the split, an Aberdeen loss today would see them needing to overhaul that 8 point gap in 7 games.
It is all ‘if’s and but’s’ but the High Noon kick-off today could see McGhee’s first season come shuddering to a halt.
Is it worth fighting for the top six?