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

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Neil Warnock’s ambitions for Aberdeen to finish in the Scottish Premiership top 6 is still very much within their grasp but with each passing week and points being dropped left, right and centre that task is becoming more and more difficult. There are eight games left until the split, for half of those games the Dons face sides who currently occupy bottom six places so there is hope but Aberdeen needs to start winning football matches. If Aberdeen are to climb the table and finish the season strongly, they have to stop gifting goals to their opponents like what we witnessed against Hibs on Saturday. It was nothing short of calamitous – again! I don’t know what Aberdeen’s goalkeeper coach Craig Samson works on with Kelle Roos in training, but my humble advice would be to concentrate on his distribution for a few days, it’s killing us.

Overall, since Neil took charge of the side only 10 days ago there has been a marked improvement in the style of football, the ‘hoofball’ style of play is still in evidence now and then but mostly it appears to have been confined to the Barry Robson book of tactics. We are now trying to break teams down by playing through them and not over the top of them. In spells against Hibs and particularly against Motherwell last week the football on display was a good watch, we can see what Neil is trying to instil and from what I can see the players are responding but we have to cut out these ridiculous schoolboy errors which have haunted our season. The game against Hibs typified our campaign so far, it was so frustrating to drop two points from a winning position due to a lack of concentration and awareness from the usually ever dependant Nicky Devlin. Just clear the ball no matter what.

For the first time since the end of the winter break Aberdeen have a solid week between games. Since taking charge Neil Warnock now has his first opportunity to work with the lads at Cormack Park without the distraction of a midweek game. He can continue to assess where we need to improve and what is required for Aberdeen to try and finish in the top half of the table. It’s an important few days for him and the coaching staff because next we face a very difficult game against Derek McInnes’s Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. Neil will have to get his tactics spot on if we are to come away from Ayrshire with anything from the game. Falling further behind Hibs and Dundee in the table is almost unthinkable at this stage even though those two sides face each other at Easter Road this coming Saturday. We have to do our best to keep in touch and to do that we simply have to win and kick on from there. It’s not rocket science.

On a more positive note, I, like many Dons fans, have been delighted to see a marked improvement in form from Aberdeen striker Duk. I have mentioned before the sense of bafflement when it came to his contribution to the team this season, he was a shadow of the player we all adored last year. I do believe Neil Warnock has been the perfect tonic for him because we are starting to see the Duk of old. I think we have him back! If he can continue to improve game by game, it can only but benefit the team going forward. To see him with a smile on his face is a breath of fresh air, long may it continue.

On Saturday at Pittodrie the Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust celebrated its 10 th anniversary with a magnificent tifo display in the Richard Donald Stand. As well as this the players warmed up in shirts specially designed by pupils at St Machar Academy and for the match the players matchday shirt donned the Community Trust logo. The Trust, led by the brilliant Liz Bowie has done some incredible work for local charities and the community as a whole. I was saddened to learn that 22% of children in Aberdeen live in poverty, this is a shocking statistic but with the help of the trust no child in Aberdeen will go hungry. It’s a fantastic initiative for which everybody involved should be hugely proud. Their work deserves every recognition and I hope they continue to receive the support that they desperately need to ensure that living in poverty becomes something of the past. Thanks for reading.