Chairman is delighted as Dons boss snubs Rangers
Huge sigh of relief as Shinnie vows not to let saga affect form
Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne described himself as the happiest man in the world after his manager Derek McInnes, above, sensationally snubbed managerless Rangers.
The 46-year-old had been heavily linked with the Glasgow giants for the last six weeks, since the sacking of Pedro Caixinha.
Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne described himself as the happiest man in the world after Dons manager Derek McInnes rejected the chance to join Rangers.
The 46-year-old had been heavily linked with a move to the Ibrox club for the past six weeks since the sacking of Pedro Caixinha on October 26.
McInnes emerged as the preferred candidate for the Light Blues this week when they made an approach to speak to the former Bristol City and St Johnstone manager on Tuesday, which
“Everyone looks forward to putting the speculation behind us”
was swiftly rejected by the Dons.
However, McInnes’ future at Pittodrie looked uncertain after he and his assistant Tony Docherty were absent from two training sessions and yesterday’s scheduled pre-match press conference ahead of tonight’s meeting with Dundee, prompting suggestions he could tender his resignation to force a move.
But, in a dramatic twist, Aberdeen confirmed last night that McInnes, who is under contract until 2020, would be remaining with the Dons – much to the delight of chairman Milne.
Milne said: “I spoke with Derek who felt it was a major thing to be considered for the managerial position at a club such as Rangers and we agreed that he could have some time to think about the approach and talk it through with his family. Over the past 48 hours, I have been in constant dialogue with Derek and, having weighed up the opportunity, he has taken the decision to remain as Aberdeen FC manager.
“Derek appreciates all that he has at this club and feels he wants to keep driving the club forward.
“This is where he wants to be and he feels he very much has unfinished business with Aberdeen FC.
“I personally am delighted that Derek has decided to remain with the club and everyone looks forward to putting the speculation of the past few weeks behind us and concentrating on matters on the park starting at Dens Park.”
The Dons manager was also keen to draw a line under the matter and turn his full attention to returning to winning ways against Dundee at Dens Park tonight following successive defeats by Rangers.
He said: “I’ve had a lot to consider over the last couple of days and I appreciate it’s been a testing time for everyone, including my family, and I’m pleased to be now totally focusing purely on on-thefield matters.”
McInnes succeeded Craig Brown at Pittodrie in March 2013 and guided the club to League Cup success a year later, ending the club’s 19-year wait for silverware.
The Dons have finished runners-up for the past three seasons and reached both cup finals last term, losing on both occasions to treble-winning Celtic.
Aberdeen captain Graeme Shinnie insists he will not let the six-week saga of Rangers’ pursuit of Derek McInnes derail his team’s season.
The Dons’ form has dropped dramatically since Rangers’ interest in the Aberdeen manager began, with the Pittodrie side taking just four points from a possible 15.
However, the matter came to a dramatic conclusion last night, with McInnes confirming that he will not be making the move to Ibrox.
The Aberdeen manager and his assistant Tony Docherty have been absent from the Dons’ last two training sessions ahead of tonight’s Premiership meeting with Dundee at Dens Park.
But Shinnie says this week’s off-field events will have no impact on his side’s performance tonight.
He said: “As players, we have to focus and we’ve tried not to let the speculation affect us and we shouldn’t let it affect us. We need to keep on the straight and narrow and ensure our results pick up.
“We want to do as well as we can, which means closing the gap on Celtic as well as we can. But, given the form they are in, it has been tough.
“After that, second place is where we want to be. We haven’t hit the heights as we know we can but we were still in a position where we lost six points to Rangers last week but we are still on the same points as them. We’re still in a position where we are fighting for it and it will be a tough period between now and the Christmas break so we have to get our heads down and focus.”
There has been a frustration within Pittodrie at the protracted saga and Shinnie had been keen to see it coming to a conclusion.
He added: “Naturally, you wanted some sort of clarification that lets all parties move forward, but it was out of our hands and nothing to do with us.
“As players, all we can do is focus on preparing as well as we can for the game we have coming up.
“The training has been good. It has been as normal. The tempo has been brilliant. The players are more focused on trying to get back to winning ways.”
It is the second time McInnes has rejected the chance to leave his Aberdeen job. He turned down the opportunity to move to English Championship club Sunderland when they approached in the summer.
Shinnie is not surprised that such a club was keen to prise McInnes away from Pittodrie.
He said: “He was the manager who brought me here. We have had some great times at Aberdeen. If the team is doing well then there are going to be clubs coming looking for the manager. There was a big turnaround of players in the summer.
“That was testament to how well the team has been doing. It is part and parcel of football. You have to get on with it. The only way we can do that is by focusing on the game against Dundee.”
“Shouldn’t let any speculation affect us. We have to be focused”
TIES THAT BIND: Derek McInnes and Stewart Milne, above at Pittodrie on the day the manager was appointed on March 25, 2013, remain fully committed to the Dons
NOW WE GO FORWARD: Graeme Shinnie is determined to repay manager Derek McInnes’ commitment