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Duncan Shearer: New Aberdeen boss – whoever that is – has a huge job on their hands

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin has been linked with Aberdeen.
St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin has been linked with Aberdeen.

I will be surprised if the next Aberdeen manager is not one of the early names who have been linked with the job.

Jim Goodwin, Jack Ross and Neil Lennon are the early frontrunners for the vacant job at Pittodrie following the sacking of Stephen Glass on Sunday.

I think all three have the necessary experience which my old club now needs.

I would put Neil behind the other two candidates only on the basis I’m not sure if he has any interest in relocating up to Aberdeen.

He was reportedly interviewed for the Sunderland job, which suggests he is ready to return to the game, and who knows? Maybe Aberdeen is the sort of challenge he is looking for.

But I find it very difficult to pick one candidate ahead of anyone else at this point.

Even when a new manager is appointed, it will be at least a year from now before we can begin to gauge whether he is the right man for the job.

Dons job has become more difficult than it was 12 months ago

What I do know is managing Aberdeen has become an even tougher job now than it was 12 months ago.

Former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

While it was probably the right time for Derek McInnes to go after eight years at the club, he left Pittodrie with the team, while not playing at its best, still in fourth place and in the Scottish Cup.

A year ago, scoring goals was Aberdeen’s biggest problem. Right now, stopping the opposition from scoring is the issue facing the Dons.

Aberdeen have kept five clean sheets all season. It’s a miserable statistic, no matter how you look at it.

The manager has taken the fall for that, but the same players remain at the club and they need to stand up and show some professional pride now, starting with the visit of St Johnstone tonight.

The season is delicately poised for Aberdeen.

They could push back into the top six and challenge for fourth place or they could continue to drop down the table and find themselves fighting to stay in the division come the end of the season.

Glass will learn from his tough time at Pittodrie

It’s full-time for Stephen Glass at Aberdeen.

I feel for Stephen Glass following his departure from Aberdeen.

He had 11 months to implement his vision for the club, which in the grand scheme of things is next to no time at all.

He and his family moved from the United States to Aberdeen for this job, so to see him lose his job before without being in charge for a full season must be a sore one to take.

I’m sure Dons chairman Dave Cormack will be hurting at the moment, too. Stephen was his guy, his appointment, the man he told the fans would deliver attacking football at the club.

But with Aberdeen having kept just one clean sheet in the last nine games, the 3-0 Scottish Cup win against Edinburgh City of League Two, it is hard to argue against the decision.

Stephen will have been stung by what has been a baptism of fire for his first management job, but, at 45, he is young enough to recover from this setback.

I don’t know where it will be, but I have no doubt he will have learned a great deal from this experience and will be stronger for it.

Former chairman can be close counsel for Cormack, but is board as close to playing staff these days?

The new manager is his call to make, but Dave Cormack should lean on former chairman Stewart Milne for some guidance as he begins the search for the new Aberdeen boss.

Stewart went through a few managers before getting it right with Derek McInnes and, if anyone knows the pitfalls of trying to recruit the right man, it is the former chairman.

Aberdeen’s chairman Dave Cormack and Stewart Milne (front row) during the Scottish Cup match at Motherwell.

Stewart, Ian Donald, Denis Miller and Gordon Buchan came in for lunch with the staff at the club on a regular basis, but I’ve no idea if that sort of bond is still there given three of the board members are based in the United States.

The directors I worked with had a feel for the club purely from being around the place on a regular basis. They would follow the club home and away, too.

But it doesn’t seem to be that way now. I was in Dingwall for the Dons 1-1 draw with Ross County a couple of weeks ago and the only person from the club I recognised in the stand was director of football Steven Gunn.

I know from my spells with the club as a player and coach that there was a close relationship between the playing staff and the directors.

It cannot be easy maintaining that today given the make-up of the Pittodrie boardroom.

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