When you think about some of the stick Aberdeen received at the start of the campaign, it’s like it happened many seasons ago.

Just six points out of 21 from their opening seven games, no real goal threat, and the possibility of losing key stars like captain Graeme Shinnie. It was all a bit doom and gloom. Fast forward to January, and after sweeping aside Hamilton 3-0, the Dons sit just three points off the top.

McInnes has got the Dons rolling. (Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

Aberdeen’s return to form has largely went unnoticed. McInnes hasn’t got the credit he deserves for bringing this Aberdeen team into the title race.

Key players returning to form

The Dons have took an impressive 18 points from their last seven games. It isn’t a coincidence that this return to form has coincided with key players playing at the top of their game.

The big plaudits have to go to Sam Cosgrove. He hadn’t scored a single goal up until December, netting his first in a game against Livingston. He failed to make a partnership with any of the Aberdeen forwards, but he has thrived up top on his own. Since netting against Livi, the striker has netted eight times in six games, as he looks to make up for lost time.

Cosgrove can’t stop scoring. (Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

Signing Greg Stewart will increase Aberdeen’s attacking arsenal. Scoring an impressive eight in 16 games for Kilmarnock whilst on loan at Rugby Park, he rejoined the Dons on loan from Birmingham City this month. In his time at Killie, he was best utilised as a number 10 who drifted past the striker on occasion. If McInnes can utilise this key strength, Aberdeen will have a deadly strike force.

Max Lowe has given the Dons some attacking impetus, whilst also being defensively strong. Shinnie is turning in solid performances week after week in the middle of the park. He is a real leader in midfield, and McInnes will be desperate to hold onto him after the summer.

Shinnie has been putting in the hard yards. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Aberdeen perhaps don’t play attractive, beautiful football every game, but they are certainly effective in getting victories. They have been slowly sneaking up on their rivals, and with a win against Kilmarnock, they could potentially jump into second place.

With the Dons so close to the summit, you would be foolish to write them out of this title race.

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