Analysis from Pittodrie as Hearts went down to a Sam Cosgrove double for the home side.
The Mitchell enigma
When Demetri Mitchell's loan spell at Tynecastle finished last season some fans had given up hope of luring him back to the club. The expectation was that he would be off to the English Championship. He had left quite the impression. However, the Mitchell of last season has seldom been seen this campaign. Against Aberdeen, playing from wing-back he lacked the confidence and drive to provide Hearts with an attacking thrust. His afternoon, which included a fresh air kick, being tackled by a team-mate and a shot which out for a throw-in was compounded by a red card.
Towards the end of the first half an audible groan went up from the away support. Another Hearts attack had gone backwards, sideways and backwards once more. Despite the presence of Steven Naismith the lack of confidence, ambition and decisiveness were evident. Craig Levein's men enjoyed a lot of the ball in their defensive third but struggled to build through midfield and into attack. Steven MacLean was once again left isolated with no players running beyond him and behind the Aberdeen defence. Christophe Berra saw too much of the ball and struggled to play out of defence effectively.
Not lacking in support
There were few positives to take from Hearts' performance but what can't be faulted is the backing the team received from the 1,045-strong travelling support. Considering there was not a lot to cheer, the match came on the back of a 5-0 drubbing at Livingston and it's only a few days before Christmas it was a sizeable number. The Hearts support have been in the news quite often since the Edinburgh derby in October, and not in a positive manner, but the fans made plenty of noise, largely stayed behind the team and didn't leave en masse when Sam Cosgrove netted his and Aberdeen's second.