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

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St Mirren arrived at a cold, blustery Pittodrie last Saturday knowing they had not won any of their previous six games and failed to register a goal in five of those matches.

On paper this should have been a routine 3 points for Aberdeen. Come 16:45 the boos that rang out from the home support deafened the skies above Pittodrie. Aberdeen had just been soundly beaten by a team that showed more spirit, determination and above all, bravery, Stephen Robinson’s men thoroughly deserved their 3-0 win.

It was a disaster of a performance from Barry Robson’s side who throughout looked devoid of ideas, a will to win and how to break down a well organised, disciplined St Mirren side.

It was all so predictable as soon as the team news was announced. Aberdeen, at the time of writing, find themselves one point above the relegation play-off spot. Come the winter break this could worsen if the Dons don’t come away from Dingwall on Tuesday afternoon with maximum points.

It’s unthinkable that given our budget, our recruitment and the quality of player that Barry has at his disposal come the beginning of 2024 we begin the new calendar year in such dire straits.

I take no pleasure in saying this, but I do now think its time for a change. I desperately wanted Barry to do well, he deserved his crack of the whip, but Saturday’s performance was unacceptable, and I can’t see things improving any time soon.

Recent results against Hearts and Livingston, as much as they were welcome, only served to paper over the gaping cracks that have been in evidence all season. The football on display is enough to give us all a headache, it’s horrible to watch.

After the winter break Aberdeen face some very tricky games starting with Clyde in the Scottish Cup. We then travel to Perth to play St Johnstone, who like the Dons, are also having a difficult season. We then face three huge games in succession against Hearts, Celtic and Rangers. It’s a frightening prospect.

I fully expect Barry to be in charge for the Ross County game on Tuesday but without tempting fate if the result does not go our way the board will have to act.

We simply can’t keep going on like this. As much as I hate a manager's revolving door the board will have to show their bravery by making what will be a very difficult decision. This will then afford them the time to start to recruitment process, a process that they need to get right.

Even if Barry was to get a result against County, I still believe the board need to act, there is no point in delaying what is the inevitable. Wipe the slate clean and start afresh but do it now before it’s too late.

To finish off, this past Hogmanay Aberdeen’s greatest ever manager, Sir Alex Ferguson celebrated his 82nd birthday. In an eight-year period with the club he won eleven major honours and remains the last manager to win the League Championship outside the Old Firm.

When I look back, I feel quite blessed to have grown up in this magnificent era for the club and witness first hand all our major triumphs. Sir Alex is a one-off but there is so much still that we can learn from the great man himself.

I have said it before and I will continue to bang this drum, don’t be blinded by nostalgia, use it as a tool to inspire and do better. To the current squad, I ask of you this – can you do better and if so, how? What tools do you have to become better players? Do you have it in your locker to get us out of our current predicament? Yes, the manager plays his role by setting up the team and allowing them to play to their full potential. That’s on him but the players also need to take responsibility for performances on the park. The next few days will be very telling. Happy New Year.