Scottish football is rarely a dull place but Aberdeen defender Max Lowe’s brief stint back at Derby saw him caught up in the most controversial story of the season south of the border.
Lowe spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Pittodrie before returning to the Rams at the start of the Scottish Premiership’s winter break.
The 21-year-old was handed a start in last month’s 2-0 defeat by Leeds United, a game that was overshadowed by the revelations head coach Marcelo Bielsa sent a member of staff to spy on a Derby County training session a day before the game.
Lowe, now back with the Dons for the second half of the season, admitted it was a bizarre episode.
He said: “The manager got told at the time by the kit man because there were police at the training ground.
“There is a public pathway behind our training ground. I don’t think he was on our property.
“He had a pair of plyers as well so I don’t know what he was doing.
“There was a bit of woodland area but he would have been able to see everything.
“To be fair to the guy who was watching the session, he timed it perfectly as we were doing an 11 against 11 game with our predicted 11 for the game the following day.
“He saw our starting 11 so we had to stop the session there and then.
“Frank (Lampard) wasn’t happy because it was our starting team.
“We were going through set-pieces and our tactics of how to press.
“Bielsa has been doing that for every game.
“It has been gaining them inches but it is not the right thing to do.
“You can see why they are doing well as they are playing great football and have a great squad.
“It was a bizarre situation to stop a session before a massive game.
“I do think what they did was wrong.”
Bielsa then held a special press conference to present the detailed analysis he gathers of all of Leeds’ opponents.
Lowe said: “We had Southampton in the cup that night and he came on Sky Sports and we were all intrigued to see what he was going to say.
“He had games from the start of the season and he had our line-up then compared to now and all the players we had brought in.
“He is very in-depth with his knowledge and I was surprised he showed everyone that.
“Football is a mad world.”
Lowe, meanwhile, is relishing being back at Aberdeen for the second half of the campaign and is targeting success in the league and Scottish Cup.
Ahead of today’s trip to Hibernian, he said: “I settled in quickly first time around and I’m really glad to be back.
“Hopefully we can get a run of games going.
“We have some tough games coming up but it is a good opportunity to take three points in every game.
“It is an exciting stage of the season, especially with how tight it is.
“I have never played in a league this tight before, especially at the top.
“There is healthy competition for places and the lads going out on loan shows how big the squad is, there are opportunities for everyone.
“Hopefully we can go one step forward in the cup and win the final this time around and hopefully we can also do well in the league.”