Joe Lewis admits the table doesn’t lie and that it’s time for Aberdeen to face up to some harsh home truths.
The club captain knows languishing in 10th simply is not good enough for the Dons and they need to snap out of their slump sharpish.
The Pittodrie club haven’t won since Boxing Day and Wednesday night’s miserable defeat by Hearts at Tynecastle only served to show how big a job new boss Jim Goodwin has on his hands to get the club back in the fight to be Scotland’s third force.
Lewis admits finishing fourth doesn’t even look likely right now unless the squad are prepared to roll up their sleeves and scrape their way out of the doom.
Ibrox on Saturday would be a good place to start and the keeper is hoping another run at their fierce rivals could reignite the Dons’ campaign.
It’s a tight table but even so, Lewis knows third bottom of the pile is chronic.
He said: “It’s absolutely not where Aberdeen should be. Going higher up in the table is there for a team who wants to grab it.
“But right now, we are not really looking like a team who are going to do that.
“We have to show resilience and fight. The manager is not asking for miracles from anyone.
“He’s asking for hard work, athleticism and to put ourselves about. There wasn’t enough of that.
“It needs to be a spark. We have had decent performances against Rangers this season.
“We need to replicate those and show a lot more than we did against Hearts. The games will run out soon but the league is condensed and there is an opportunity for someone to grab it and go on a run.
“We need to show the willingness to go on a run.”
Aberdeen look bereft of confidence and 34-year-old Lewis said: “Possibly, it’s hard to gauge that.
“We certainly need to show more energy and willingness to run and tackle, regardless of whether anyone is feeling confident or not. That’s non-negotiable really. It’s something we need to inject into our game and show more fight.
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“It was difficult against Hearts because they are a good side. But we need to move forward and find that spark from somewhere.”
Goodwin picked up draws in his first two games as boss before the defeat in Gorgie but the Irishman is trying to get back to basics.
It’s easy to see where the trouble lies as the Dons have failed to keep a shut-out in 11 Premiership games going all the way back to December 11. Lewis said: “To be a successful team, it is based on clean sheets. But we need to carry a threat too.
“We need to be a team that is hard-working, who win their first and second balls and the basics.
“We need to find that spark, maybe take the lead in a game to give ourselves something to work on. We’ve not had that late and we need to find it.”
Lewis knows as club skipper he needs to stand up.
But he could do with some help from the men in front of him and he’s looking for the full squad to step up and shake the club out of their haze.
Lewis, in his sixth season at Pittodrie, said: “All players should take responsibility.
“It doesn’t matter what age you are. Look at Lewis Ferguson, he’d been our standout player this season in my opinion and he’s only a young boy.
“I don’t think it necessarily should come from just the senior boys but certainly we have to help the young boys.
“Look at Connor Barron, who has been fantastic.
“He’s been a leader on the pitch since he’s come in. It needs to come from everyone.
“There’s a limit to what one individual can do. It needs to be collective.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.