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P&J: McGhee vows to change Dons mentality

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McGhee vows to change Dons mentality as team pays dearly for slow starts


By Paul Third


Published: 02/11/2010


ABERDEEN manager Mark McGhee believes there needs to be a change of mentality at Pittodrie – and he is determined to deliver it.


The Dons manager is still angry at the terrible first-half showing from his players at St Mirren Park on Saturday in his side’s 2-1 loss to the Buddies, but he is more concerned by the fact it was not an isolated incident. McGhee is alarmed by what he believes he is sluggish opening halves in games and he is determined to get to the bottom of an issue which has resulted in the club amassing just four points from the last eight league games.


He said: “The first half was very poor and I was hugely disappointed, as I was with the first half against Falkirk here in the League Cup last Tuesday. The second half in both cases was much better with us getting back into the game, although we shot ourselves in the foot. The manner in which we lost the game was diabolical.


“I am more concerned at how poor the first half was and we will spend this week trying to address it.”


The Dons manager was very critical of his players following Saturday’s defeat with Michael Paton singled out for not carrying out his defensive duties in the build-up to St Mirren’s injury time winner.


McGhee is frustrated and perplexed in equal measures, but he is adamant he will find the solution.


He added: “When we put Paton on I knew there was a danger he could switch off.


“But I also knew he could win us the game.


“It was a risk I took and it failed so I have to take responsibility as it was my decision.


“But equally, there has to be a starting point from the players and they all have to work a lot harder than they did in the first half.


“Training was good all last week and the atmosphere at the hotel the night before the game was good.


“We have an initiation ceremony where every new player has to stand on a chair and sing a song for their first away game and it was Ryan Fraser’s turn on Friday night.  :-\


“It was good fun and helped build team spirit.


“But the puzzle for me is why we are not showing it in the first halves of matches.


“We have to find out this week why the players are not starting games in the proper manner.”

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