Derek McInnes has been in football long enough to know the importance of keeping calm in tense situations.
The Aberdeen manager is no stranger to being criticised. It comes with the territory of being manager of the Dons, but – while the patience of some fans has worn thin following Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Ross County – it is business as usual at Pittodrie.
The bedsheet banner brigade may be in the minority, but the social media images of messages calling for a change in the dugout have been shared widely on social media this week.
McInnes is aware of the criticism. He expects it. But he will not let the ire of a few divert his attention away from the task at hand.
He said: “Results like that can happen. You want to keep them to a minimum and see a response.
“We will stay calm and work hard and get on with it.
“We’ve had five league defeats this season, three of them against a Rangers team that’s undefeated and two really disappointing afternoons.
“We’ve now got to knuckle down, go on an unbeaten run and show we are a good side.
“Saturday was a poor afternoon, but we’re not a poor team. The fact we are sitting where we are in the league with a couple of games in hand shows we’re not as bad as some people think.
“It’s still up to us to improve on that though.”
The Aberdeen manager has been in the spotlight following a poor run before and certainly back-to-back defeats for the first time in the league hardly constitutes a crisis.
It is water of a duck’s back for the Dons boss and he believes his players will also respond in the correct manner to their Dingwall setback.
He said: “When we have a bad day we all suffer. But you try to galvanise. We have a spirit in us.
“We are well aware that when you work for Aberdeen the criticism can be stinging at times.
“The players have to deal with that. Sometimes the praise can be overboard at times when things are going well. But that’s the way it is.
“You just have retain a perspective and knuckle down and work hard and focus on what we can do better.
“There’s loads we can do better, but there’s also a lot we are doing right.
“When you get to January you maybe look for answers outwith, but we know we can’t do that and we will work with what we have in the building.
“I’ve got full faith in the squad that we can do what we need to do through our league campaign and hopefully be in a good vein of form when the Scottish Cup comes around.”
🔴 Time for change at Aberdeen?
— P&J Sport (@PandJSport) January 20, 2021