It was a big call by Dave Cormack and his directors to this week back Derek McInnes.
The decision further split a fractured fanbase, but given the manager’s history with the club, it wasn’t a huge surprise that the board opted to support him.
I wrote last week that another defeat and poor performance might prompt the chairman to take decisive action, and I have no doubt he was seriously considering a change in the wake of the Easter Road beating.
But I also said on the radio Cormack is not one for kneejerk reactions and he would take his time over the weekend to decide the best course for the club.
There were some pretty frank discussions between the manager and board at the start of the week and, with speculation mounting and social media apparently going into meltdown, offering the dreaded “vote of confidence” was probably the right thing to do.
What may have swung it is the manager’s track record.
At this stage of the season, an interim coaching team would not have been ideal, and no permanent appointment comes with any guarantees.
It will not quell the anger felt by the McInnes Out lobby, only improved results and a more entertaining style of football will do that, but the chairman has made his position clear and his reputation is now on the line just as much as Derek’s is.
It is impossible to know what percentage of the support is still behind the manager. Those who are active online tend to make the most noise, and much of the comment attached to the club’s posts makes grim reading, but there are clearly still those who back him all the way and want to see him prove the doubters wrong.
I have written previously about the credit Derek rightly has in the bank.
He turned the club round and has achieved a consistency that had been lacking for almost two decades prior to his appointment.
There are many positives about his time in charge, and despite what his detractors say, Derek remains a very good football manager.
But that doesn’t mean he’s infallible, or that it’s wrong to ask questions or to highlight failings.
The simple truth is that it has not been good enough this season, particularly of late, and when the defence malfunctions, as it has done on a number of occasions, the Dons have had little to offer at the other end of the pitch. Four games in a row without a goal tells its own story.
He was allowed to radically alter his squad at the end of the transfer window, and despite that hugely disappointing run, and based largely on the success rate he has achieved with the club, it seems fair to me that he be given the opportunity to work with those new players and to try to find the answers.
I saw one fan write that Derek McInnes had made him fall back in love with his club in the earlier part of his tenure and that he hopes he can do so again. Surely all of us who have the Dons in our hearts will feel the same way.
Derek has been given very public backing; it is now up to him to prove he was deserving of it.
Lower leagues need answers – and soon
I have much sympathy with Jim McInally’s suggestion the League One and Two seasons should be scrapped and everyone “put out of their misery”.
The lower league clubs were sacrificed when the SPFL feared the Scottish Government pulling the plug on the game as a whole, and with no sign of an imminent return to action, putting 2020-21 to bed might well be the best course of action.
That, however, is a major issue for those who have invested in their squads in a bid to win promotion, and for the bigger clubs who need the revenues on offer further up the pyramid. They will want the chance to step up.
A 27-game season seems highly unlikely now, and even 18 might be pushing it for some who have a lot of catching up to do.
Right now, I would hold off from making the call, but a definitive conclusion will have to be reached within the next few weeks.