Lawrence Shankland apologises to Hearts fans and says people need to look at themselves as abuse flies
Duk’s double and Mattie Pollock’s header put Aberdeen 3-0 ahead inside 30 minutes at Pittodrie. That scoreline remained and away fans vented their anger at full-time. Shankland said he didn’t notice on-loan defender James Hill arguing back at the time.
“I didn’t actually see that. In all honesty, I don’t know what anybody could have said back to them,” he said. “Abuse is obviously going to come your way because of that performance. It’s totally acceptable for the fans to do that. If somebody thought they were good enough out there and could argue back, then my God.
“I understand it [fans’ anger] totally. I apologise on the team’s behalf for the performance we put it. In the second half we had a bit of a go but the game was done. The fans travelled up in numbers and we’ve let them down.
“There isn’t much to say. I find it hard to believe if somebody doesn’t know how hard a game it’s going to be up there. The record Hearts have there tells you that. We won comfortably against Aberdeen at Tynecastle but it’s a completely different game at Pittodrie. If people thought it would be the same game, they’ve got a lot of thinking to do.
“A couple of weeks ago we lost to Motherwell and it was the exact same mistakes we made, so we haven’t learned. People need to look at themselves individually. It’s a man’s game. You need to look at yourself and stand up if you’ve done things wrong. If you aren’t realising you’ve done things wrong then you will come out of the team, potentially.
“I’m sure we will have a few tough talks this week. The bigger picture is: It’s only one game we’ve lost again. We need to get back to work on Tuesday and deal with it then.”
Shankland suggested Hearts weren’t fired up enough for the task. “In this league, if you give teams a three-goal headstart then you give yourself a mountain to climb. Aberdeen have a bounce with Barry [Robson] being in charge and they’re doing well at the minute. I don’t know what our approach is. I don’t know if we think it’s going to be an easy game or what, but we are not at it for 25 or 30 minutes of the first half. The game is done.
“It’s a hard one to explain when you look around and it feels like you’re not up for it. I don’t know if that’s just how well Aberdeen played but I fail to believe that. It's us not stamping our authority on the game from the start. You can’t do that in this league. You will get punished and we did. The game was pretty much done at half-time.”
Aberdeen (3-5-2): Roos; Pollock, MacDonald, Scales; McCrorie, Ramdani, Clarkson (Myslovic 84), Shinnie, Hayes (Coulson 41); Miovski (Watkins 70), Duk (Duncan 84).
Hearts (3-5-2): Clark; Hill, Sibbick (Grant 75), Rowles; M Smith (Halliday 90), McKay, Kiomourtzoglou (Forrest 46), Snodgrass, Cochrane (Kingsley 34); Shankland, Ginnelly (Humphrys 75).
Referee: David Dickinson.