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Duncan Shearer: Sympathy for Derek McInnes but a fresh voice may be just what Aberdeen needs

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes during his final game in charge against Hamilton Academical.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes during his final game in charge against Hamilton Academical.

I’m sad to see Derek McInnes go but many fans feel it has gone stale at Pittodrie and judging by recent results it is hard to argue against that point of view.

Dons chairman Dave Cormack has decided to act in making a change, no doubt in the hope it can galvanise the team for one last push in the final six games of the season.

Derek can point to having to overhaul his forward line in January and while I have sympathy for him with having to oversee a deadline day flurry of activity at Pittodrie I don’t think any Dons fans are shedding too many tears at those who left the club in the January window.

Sam Cosgrove and Curtis Main, two of the three attacking players who moved on in the final days of the window, gave the Dons little this season and I do not think either man is a big miss to the team on the basis of their contribution in this campaign.

I’d suggest receiving a fee in the region of £2 million for Cosgrove in particular was an outstanding bit of business given how disappointing he had been since returning from injury and it seems borne out by his lack of game time so far at Birmingham City.

Derek McInnes.

With 18 clean sheets and seven goalless draws it is clear the Dons have been such a mixed bag this season. Defensively they have got it right but there’s no hiding it – one goal scored in the last nine matches is horrendous and there is no hiding for any manager in those circumstances.

Incredibly, despite their lack of goals and another weekend where they drew a blank the Dons have closed the gap on Hibernian who lost at St Johnstone to three points.

But the gifts will not keep coming their way and it clear Dons chairman Cormack feels a new voice is needed in the dressing room.

Eight years is a long time at a club, especially one the size of Aberdeen, and while Derek will no doubt be feeling hurt right now I hope in time he can look back with pride for the job he did.

Derek McInnes delivered the League Cup for Aberdeen in 2014.

If there is one disappointment for him it will be that he was not able to add to the League Cup win of 2014 and in reaching three other cup finals he had his chances.

His consistency has helped Aberdeen become a force again in Scottish football but with the bigger budget he helped create by being so consistent he knows the expectation levels were going to rise too.

Whether a new manager will be appointed in time for the Dundee United game next weekend remains to be seen but one thing is clear – Aberdeen’s need for someone to take on the burden of scoring goals has become urgent.

I hope a new voice in the dressing room can help provide the jumpstart which Aberdeen’s stalled season needs.

Mckay and Naismith impress for Staggies

One man who looked full of confidence in front of goal at the weekend was Billy Mckay who scored twice in Ross County’s 3-2 win against Kilmarnock.

Billy looked like the striker who was so important to Caley Thistle in his pomp at the weekend and the timing of his goals could not have been more vital for the Staggies.

He has had to wait for his chance due to Oli Shaw’s form over the festive period but a sharp and confident Mckay is a menace and he could prove the difference for the Staggies in their bid to stay in the Premiership.

Ross County’s Jason Naismith.

While Billy impressed me on Saturday the standout player for me was Jason Naismith.

He is the closest player I have seen to Rangers captain James Tavernier in terms of getting up and down the line from a full-back position in Scottish football.

He was a danger in both boxes, his aerial threat was clear to see and his deliveries from wide areas were excellent.

I know he is in his second spell at County but he looks to me like a player who has matured.

Steven Gerrard’s men are worthy winners

Rangers are deserving Premiership champions although I must admit I did not expect them to canter to the title this season by a 20-point margin.

When so much focus in Glasgow this season has been on 10-in-a-row one team rose to the challenge and the other team folded under the pressure.

Celtic’s collapse has been staggering but I would be doing Steven Gerrard and his Rangers side a disservice in ignoring what has been a relentless and dominant campaign.

They are unbeaten in the league after 32 matches and even more impressively, they’ve flown the flag for Scotland in the Europa League too by playing with no fear in Europe.

With success, however, comes inevitable interest in your players and there will be no shortage of admirers from England in some of the Light Blues’ squad this summer.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard smiles after his side’s match against St Mirren.

That comes with the territory of doing well.

Ryan Kent remains the jewel in the crown in this Rangers side and I would be hugely surprised if he is still here come the next campaign as I expect clubs to test the resolve of the Ibrox board with some big money offers this summer.

I would imagine other players will also attract interest but the former Liverpool man has been the key man for Gerrard’s side in the games I’ve watched.