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Graeme Shinnie in honest response to Aberdeen FC fan fury as he shuts down 'free hit' Conference League theory

Honest skipper Graeme Shinnie admits struggling Aberdeen have to stop beating themselves and need to turn their season around before the alarm bells start to ring.

The Dons have failed to win in their first five Premiership games and are only off the bottom of the table on goal difference. Defeat to Hearts brought an angry and stinging response from the frustrated Red Army as they turned on the players – and Shinnie reckons his team can have very little defence. Things don’t get any easier for Aberdeen as they open up in their Europa Conference League group section away to favourites Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.

Shinnie said: “I understand their frustration and we fully accept we haven’t been good enough. We got a lot of plaudits last term because we did well and everyone enjoyed it. But now we are not doing well and 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 – we conceded one in seven or eight games at one stage. 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.”

Yes, there are mitigating circumstances as Robson has performed major surgery on his squad, with 13 summer arrivals. It will take time for the team to settle down but Shinnie knows everybody needs to step up at