Despite hints in pre-season that he would revert to a 3-5-2 formation, the Aberdeen boss reverted to a more familiar 4-4-2 shape with new captain Richard Foster occupying the left hand side of defence and Darren Mackie partnering Scott Vernon up front. Encouragingly for Dons fans, Fraser Fyvie started in midfield after a long lay off last season and looked bright, coming desperately close to scoring with a lofted cross shot. Richard Foster also came close with a long range banana shot and a free kick, but the fact that much of the teams adventurous play was coming from their much maligned left back will not dissuade many fans fears that their team is lacking in flair. The need for reinforcements up front was also reinforced by the misadventures of Darren Mackie and Josh Magennis, both of whom missed gilt edged chances despite looking industrious. Ryan Jack's red card will also come as a blow, with few obvious replacements at right back. Refreshingly though it came not due to stupidity or petulance but enthusiasm, with Jack earning a straight red for a late lunge on Murray Davidson.
While a clean sheet is an encouraging sign for a team plagued by defensive malaise last season, the need for reinforcements up front has been emphasized by their bluntness up front. While Scott Vernon is not yet fully fit, Darren Mackie's limitations are well publicized and Craig Brown's other options are all very raw.
A draw is not the end of the world, but the Dons need to start getting points on the board with difficult fixtures against the Old Firm looming. This Saturday's trip to St Mirren would be an excellent place to start.