Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson insists it will be a huge blow to the club and himself if manager Derek McInnes is lured away by the national team.
The Dons boss is on a shortlist to succeed Alex McLeish as Scotland boss and Aberdeen are braced for an approach from the Scottish FA for permission to speak to their manager after Sunday’s final Premiership game of the season at Hibernian.
The SFA want a new manager in place for the European Championship qualifiers against Cyprus and Belgium next month and Ferguson, who has been a standout performer for the Dons this season, is dreading the prospect of his manager being enticed into leaving Pittodrie.
He said: “It would be a huge blow because of what’s he done for this club. He’s been fantastic. Sometimes that’s just the way football goes.
“Players come in and out and it’s the same with managers. If that was the case it would be a huge blow for the team and me personally.
“He’s been different class with this club over the past six years so I can understand why Scotland are interested. It’s up to Scotland who they pick but if he goes it would be a huge blow.”
Ferguson has been a key player for the Dons since moving from Hamilton Accies a year ago and the 19 year-old recognises the role McInnes has played not just in his fledgling career but also that of several of his team-mates at Pittodrie.
The teenager, speaking at the launch of his club’s new home kit and extension of its shirt sponsorship deal with Saltire Energy yesterday, said: “He’s been different class.
“He has been so good with me since I moved up. He’s really looked after me and had faith in me.
“He’s played at every opportunity I’ve been available so I can only thank him for that. The only way I can thank him is by putting in performances to try and help the team to win. He’s been brilliant.
“He’s done really well at developing Scottish players too. You have big Scott McKenna for example. There are so many young players at this club: Dean Campbell, Bruce Anderson, Connor McLennan. There’s so many good young players that we’re producing at the moment and hopefully that keeps continuing because it’s good to see young Scottish boys with bags of talent coming through the ranks and playing at a top level.”
While the future of his manager is the subject of speculation Ferguson is keeping his focus on Sunday’s trip to Easter Road where a place in next season’s Europa League is up for grabs. Aberdeen must better the result of rivals Kilmarnock, who are at home to Rangers, to clinch third place.
Aberdeen’s hopes are not in their own hands but Ferguson is staying focused on delivering three points from the trip to Edinburgh.
He said: “We just take care of ourselves first and once our game’s finished we can worry about what’s happened elsewhere.
“Hopefully we take care of business by getting the three points then see if Rangers have beaten Kilmarnock.
“Our away form has different class at so many tough venues like Ibrox, Parkhead and Easter Road and won or drawn this season but our home form has let us down.
“The previous 37 games don’t count for much now, it’s down to one game left and the three points at stake.
“The league doesn’t lie. If your form drops at any point and end up not getting what you want, it’s down to you. It’s your fault.
“At the end of the season, everybody will be where they deserve to be. Celtic will be champions and Dundee deserve to go down.”