DONS manager Mark McGhee admitted his side did not play well enough to win last night's game with Falkirk - but took some positives from the 0-1 defeat.
The Aberdeen boss handed new loan signings Steven MacLean and Jim Paterson debuts but the pair failed to prevent their new side slumping to their fourth defeat in their last five home league matches, while Zander Diamond was also handed his first start since the opening day of the season.
Defeats to Falkirk - their first win at Pittodrie in 52 years - Motherwell and St Mirren have joined fine victories over Dundee Utd, Kilmarnock and Hearts to make a highly inconsistent start to 2010 for the Dons - and a perplexing one for the fans.
McGhee said: "We played poorly at the back and although it was a new back four I'm not going to use that as an excuse for why we played poorly at the back.
"Individually we didn't cope well but Zander was probably the best of the back four and he hasn't been playing all season.
"I wasn't too disappointed with Jim Paterson either, he looked like he needed the game. I think our defensive performance undermined the rest of it and it got untidy."
McGhee said the performance of MacLean, who has signed on loan from Plymouth Argyle until the end of the season, was one of the few positives he can take from the match.
He added: "Steven held the ball up and I thought he did well. He showed us what he can do which is link the play and he has a composure on the ball that gives you time to get people up around about him.
"He was a whisker away four or five times from getting people in on goal. One of these times he is going to create a chance for someone like Gary McDonald or Darren Mackie so I was pleased enough for him."
Source: Team Talk