Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists speculation linking him with the vacant Rangers job will not be a distraction as his side attempts to bounce back against Ross County today.
The Dons manager is the odds-on favourite to replace Pedro Caixinha, who was sacked on Thursday following his side’s 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock.
The 46-year-old, who has been in charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, is understood to top the shortlist drawn up by the Rangers board to replace Caixinha, who was dismissed after only 26 games in charge.
After rejecting a move to Championship side Sunderland in the summer, McInnes and his assistant Tony Docherty signed new deals to remain at Pittodrie until 2020.
That means the Ibrox club would face a potential seven-figure compensation sum but, when asked about the speculation at his pre-match press conference yesterday, McInnes said his full focus was on guiding the Dons to a home victory following the 3-0 midweek defeat by Celtic.
He said: “I have never been drawn into speculation in the past and I’m not going to be drawn into it now.
“It is what it is, I’ve been used to it in my time here.
“I have always reiterated the message of how happy I am here and I am happy here.
“I am only focused on us getting back to winning ways after the other night and the Ross County game.
“It’s no distraction, the players were in after the Celtic game and we’re looking for a reaction to that game.
“It was a sore one for us but I have been encouraged by the way they have gone about their work.”
McInnes, however, felt sympathetic for Portuguese manager Caixinha, who was dismissed only seven months after replacing Mark Warburton.
The Dons manager said: “It’s always sad to see a manager lose his job because I understand the pressures of the job.
“There is a solidarity between all managers.
“We are not even out of October and over a third of the Premiership have changed managers already.
“That shows how fickle the job is, regardless of what club is involved.
“I have looked at some of the casualties this season and some seem more harsh than others.
“It often seems the easiest thing to do is to change manager and everything will be alright, but normally when you look a bit deeper and closer it’s more than the manager.
“It does sadden me to see so many managers go before we’re even in November.
“I am probably luckier than most because I have that stability and relationship with the chairman (Stewart Milne).
“He has had the experience he has here and thankfully the majority of the time I’ve been here has been good.
“Having that relationship and confidence with your chairman is vitally important.”