This piece is an extract from yesterday's The Dandies newsletter, which is emailed out at 6pm every Tuesday.

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Aberdeen’s search for a major honour continues after the weekend's painful defeat against Rangers at a sodden Hampden Park.

It was a hugely frustrating watch for all Dons fans as once again, like in many finals we have contested before, we failed to lay a glove on our opponents.

To not have a single shot on target throughout the ninety minutes is bordering on criminal. Sadly, the higher percentage of our more gifted players appeared to let the occasion pass them by and they did not perform to their usual high standards.

I asked ahead of the game for the lads to be smart on the ball, and to have composure whenever the opportunity presented itself to break. We did the complete opposite though, losing possession in good positions time and time again. Talk about irritating!

Many fans questioned the team line-up and why Connor Barron did not even get a sniff in the game. I openly confess I was baffled by this call by Barry Robson as you could argue Connor was our standout player against Eintracht Frankfurt last Thursday in our final Europa Conference League game at Pittodrie. Why did he not bring him on for the skipper on the hour mark to freshen things up in midfield? We as fans, have so many questions.

No matter what happened on the day, including two very debatable penalty calls that conveniently went a miss we were beaten by the better side on the day. The match stats don’t lie.

We should not have to rely on VAR decisions to get these games over the line despite the obvious lack of attention to detail from Andrew Dallas at critical stages of the game (you all know what I’m talking about), we are better than that but yesterday our performance levels were way under par.

Bojan Miovski who is the one player who can offer us that crucial moment of magic was isolated throughout and was never given an opportunity to get into the game. We must do better going forward.

Thankfully, the players have no time to dwell on yesterday’s defeat as attention now fully turns to climbing the league table starting with a home game against Livingston on Wednesday night.

There must be no hangover from Sunday’s Cup Final. The priority now is to improve our league form and start competing at the top end of the table.

This squad of players have the talent to be right up there, but we need to find a level of consistency to go on a run of games unbeaten. We have it in our locker to be able to do this, but the manager needs to set them up properly to play football, not hoofball!

Before the Scottish Cup campaign begins at the beginning of January we face Livingston at home, Dundee away, Motherwell and St Mirren both at home and then Ross County away up in Dingwall. Should we be confident of taking all 15 points from these games? I don’t see why not but everything must be in place for us to achieve this target.

Barry Robson can’t call upon our European campaign as an excuse anymore for irrational performances. He now has the perfect opportunity to get the lads playing at a level playing field between now and the New Year.

Dare I say he needs to consider more starts for players like Dante Polvara who has come on leaps and bounds this season and Connor Barron? He must find a way of playing these guys in our midfield more regularly because I am still to be convinced of the potency of current midfield.

The next few weeks will say much about where we are headed this season and I only pray to the football gods that it’s an upward trajectory!