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Derek McInnes: Gordon Strachan backs ex-Aberdeen boss to be in demand following Dons exit

Gordon Strachan during his spell as Scotland manager
Gordon Strachan during his spell as Scotland manager

Gothenburg Great Gordon Strachan believes Derek McInnes’ stock has risen following his eight year spell in charge of Aberdeen.

The Dons boss’ tenure came to end following a run of one win in nine matches on Monday but Strachan believes McInnes’ tenure at Pittodrie will make him a candidate for club chairman in England.

McInnes managed Bristol City in the English Championship prior to joining the Dons in 2013 and Strachan believes his work at Aberdeen will not have gone unnoticed.

Speaking to Football Pass, the former Scotland manager said: It’s not often you leave a job and your stock is higher. Usually when you are sacked your stock goes down a bit but anyone with common sense will look and say ‘that guy has done some job there, these two have done fantastically well there.’

“Take out Rangers and Celtic then Aberdeen are probably the highest wage bill but compared to England it is nowhere near it.

Former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes (centre) on the touchline during the Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park.

“This guy has been very successful up there and players are buying his players for the Championship. He can build a decent side for not much money.

“He doesn’t pretend to any chairman we’re going to play like Barcelona or Man City and pass from our own six yard box to their box. I’m sure if (a chairman) had the money Pep (Guardiola) has got and Pep says he does well because he buys the best players in the world, then I’m sure he would look at alternatives.

“But if you are after a manger who wants to play winning football, doesn’t coach you too much and you have a guy who is loyal and will stick by you? He has had at least two opportunities to leave remember.

“You are getting someone who can deal with financial constraints, make teams better, hard to beat and someone who is loyal. Where else do you want to go?”

Strachan has been hugely impressed by the job done at Pittodrie by McInnes and says the fact the Dons were so strong they had given Celtic cause for concern illustrates the strength of the teams he had built at Aberdeen.

He said: “Four times they were second which is some going. I know there were times Hibs, Hearts and Rangers were not in the league but that’s not the point.

“They were always there or thereabouts when the cups were handed out and produced at times some right good sides, sides I know for a fact that for a period Celtic were worried about. They were the one team the Celtic players were worried about.

“To be able to worry a group of players who are champions and playing in the Champions League; if you are the team Celtic are worried about, that says a lot about Derek.”

Strachan believes McInnes was ultimately a victim of his own success with his team’s competitiveness resulting in players being lured away from Pittodrie.

However, the former Don insists McInnes’ tenacity and ability to rebuild the team on several occasions should be acknowledged.

He said: “When you are successful at Aberdeen players move on and so many have moved on. It has been nearly impossible for Derek to recreate that.

“Three years ago he had a midfield of Ryan Christie, Kenny McLean and Graeme Shinnie who could play against anybody and feel comfortable.

“They had power up front and height in defence which was always a problem for teams but you cannot keep changing players.

“It’s impossible and Derek had to do it four times. It is hard enough for a manager to have a decent side and build it up again but to do it four times is nearly impossible which he did.

“He and Tony (Docherty) were fantastic together and they gave a lot of teams some scary moments.

Derek McInnes, right, with assistant Tony Docherty

“They only one won of their last nine games but that should be totally forgotten about. Tony and Derek will be down at leaving a good club but I’m sure if he walked down Union Street today everyone would be clapping him and congratulating him on doing a fantastic job. He’ll be fondly remembered there.

“He has done a smashing job and helped players onto better things. Ryan Christie went from being there for a year to having a fantastic leap of confidence to become the fantastic player we see today. Jonny Hayes was picked up from there too. They move on to bigger places and do well for themselves.”

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