Dave Cormack has made an impassioned defence of boss Stephen Glass following Aberdeen’s crash in form – saying he has ‘no intention’ of making a change in the Pittodrie dugout.
Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Dundee at Dens Park was the Dons’ fifth on the bounce, adding pages to a catalogue of grim statistics which includes two points from the last 21 available, no wins in 10, no clean sheets in 13, one clean sheet in 22 going back to last season, and more.
It’s a run which has seen some in the Red Army to lose faith in Glass, who was appointed to his first permanent first team manager’s role at the tail end of last term as a replacement for long-time boss Derek McInnes.
However, Cormack claimed – on the BBC’s Sportsound programme – top six sides Hearts and Hibs have shown he’s right to have patience with his manager.
The chairman – who also used Dundee United boss Tam Courts and Caley Thistle gaffer Billy Dodds as examples – said: “We’re nine games in (to the Premiership campaign) with 29 games to go.
“Let’s look at other managerial appointments – Hibs and Hearts’ boards have been patient. This time a year ago Hibs fans were calling for Jack Ross to go, with the Hearts fans – after (defeat to) Brora Rangers and the Alloa defeat – were protesting outside to get Robbie Neilson out and look where they are.
“Dundee United and Inverness have appointed rookie managers. Look how well they’re doing.
“The whole player pool believe in the coaching team.
“It wasn’t just appointing Stephen, but appointing (assistant) Allan (Russell) – who was for four years with the international team in England – (player-coach) Scott (Brown) coming in as a leader and someone who knew football – and bringing Simmy (coach Neil Simpson) into the set-up.
“Where we are as a board is this – we’ve no intention of making any changes so early.
“We believe the coaches and players will rectify the situation, so that’s where we are.”
The 2,500 Aberdeen fans at Dens on Saturday evening made their dissatisfaction with their team known.
However, Cormack – who, when asked about the process behind Glass’ appointment, pointed to a club TV interview from earlier this year – pointed to Aberdeen’s dominance of possession in the five games they’ve lost, as well as other data, saying: “The fans have been brilliant. I was down at Dundee on Saturday and no one’s got any issue, particularly Stephen and coaching staff, with how they felt at the end of the game, because we’re all frustrated.
“I look at those five games and the data and I’m shaking my head and going: ‘how the hell have we not got most of those points?’
“Defensive errors have been heavily punished. 11 shots on target (against) and 10 have gone in, something like that.
“Obviously in the attack, the possession we’ve got hasn’t been turned into goals.
“The players have got a responsibility, too.
“You saw Lewis Ferguson come out frustrated and take responsibility. Some senior players, including some of those who have been dropped, are 100% behind the coaching staff.
“I hear from people like Andy Considine, Neil Simpson and Joe Lewis we should be patient, because the intensity of the training, the organisation, the planning and the unit work they do, I’m told, is excellent.”
Aiming what appeared to be a swipe at former boss McInnes’ record on bringing through young players, Cormack said Glass’ arrival has seen the Dons already bleed youth academy talent, like rising full-back Calvin Ramsay and Jack MacKenzie, into the first team, adding: “We made it clear our strategy and vision was to play attacking, entertaining football. We reiterated that with the new appointment, and we would give youth a chance.
“The fact is we spend more than £1 million on our youth academy each year. Six months ago the parents, players and coaches did not believe our young players would get a chance.
“Fast forward six months and look what we’ve done with Jack MacKenzie and Calvin Ramsay as well – players who will make mistakes, but are clearly good players.
“This summer, 10 new players and a brand new system. Whatever people say, I’ve got the emails saying what a great appointment it is.
“We’re being knocked for the Qarabag games (Europa Conference League play-off exit), but it’s 14 seasons since Aberdeen got to a European play-off round.
“Nobody said it would happen overnight.”
The chairman says the aim for the season is still to finish in the Premiership’s European positions, where the Reds have been mainstays in recent seasons.
Ahead of meeting Hibernian at Pittodrie on Saturday, Cormack said: “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the players are disappointed in these game and results.
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves – the players have to be able to dig themselves out of it.
“We beat Hibs on Saturday – they’re further on in their transition – and we’re only four points behind them.”