Interim head coach Barry Robson will demand Aberdeen’s under-performing players be ‘brave’ and give everything under his watch.
Robson, 43, insists the players have to shoulder some of the blame for the dismissal of Stephen Glass.
Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack and the Pittodrie board dismissed Glass following the Scottish Cup exit to Motherwell at the weekend.
As the board work on appointing Glass’ replacement, Robson will take temporary charge of the team on a game to game basis.
That begins tonight with a home Premiership clash against bottom side St Johnstone.
Robson’s mantra is ‘winning is everything’.
He will demand 100% commitment and effort from the Dons in the bid to secure three points and end an alarming slump in form.
Robson said: “All I demand is you give me 100%.
“It doesn’t cost you anything to run.
“Nor does it cost anything to work hard, play as a team for your club, for your fans.
“That’s all I ask. And be brave.
“If you do that you have a good chance.
“Winning is everything. I always said that as a player and I believe that as a coach.
“It is born into me to be a winner.”
The players are also responsible
Development Phase Manager Robson has stepped up from his role with the U18s to head the interim coaching team.
Glass paid the price for a slump in form that has yielded just one win from seven games in 2022.
Robson says he has to rally the squad as they know they are culpable for the slump and the dismissal of Glass after just 11 months in the job.
He said: “I just have to try and pick the players up.
“And the thing is, the players know they are responsible for it as well.
“It’s a case of let’s try to move the club forward and get a decent result on Tuesday.”
Robson demands immediate reaction
Robson will demand an immediate reaction at Pittodrie tonight in a game of huge significance to Aberdeen’s ailing season.
A victory in the game in hand would leap-frog the Dons back into the top six, just one point behind Dundee United in fourth.
Defeat or a draw would keep the Dons mired in the bottom half of the table.
He said: “I expect a reaction every game.
“The way I played and the teams I played in the expectation was to win – how hungry are you every game?
“You can’t just take a weekend off with: ‘I’m not going to play so well today’.
“Football doesn’t work like that.
“Performance and playing well needs to be there every time.
“Every game is crucial. You have to fight for every three points – that is never going the change.
“If you want to be the best, do well and be successful, you need to be ready to do it every day.
“That’s draining, but that’s what it takes.”
There is no hiding place in football
Robson will be in the dugout tonight to oversee a team that has registered just five clean sheets in 34 games this season.
Former Scotland international Robson insists there can be no hiding from the hard fact they have not been good enough.
He said: “First and foremost, the players will need to perform better than they have been.
“I think they know that.
“You can’t hide that in football. It’s plain to see.
“It is not through a want of trying.
“There are times in football confidence goes down and you feel a bit heavy and tired and it doesn’t look great on the pitch.
“Players know me as a player and now as a coach, and I will always be open and honest.
“That is the best way to be with them and make demands.”
Just 48 hours to prepare the team
Robson had just 48 hours to prepare the team for tonight’s Premiership clash.
It is not enough time for wholesale changes with tactics or style.
With the limited window, he accepts it is primarily about application and mentality ahead of the St Johnstone match.
He said: “It’s alright if you say you want to play this way or that way tactically, and all that.
“But if you’ve got a style of play and a way you want to play, it takes a lot of time.
“You need the type of player and all these sorts of things.
“The one thing you can’t change is if you want to run and you want to work hard.
“If you want to do the best for yourself and the fans you’ve got half a chance.
“I haven’t had any real time with the players so it is quite difficult to get ideas across.
“I will let them know what’s expected, that’s for sure.”
A quick learning process for Robson
Robson admits he is effectively going into the interim post cold as he has had little interaction with the first team squad this season.
On Monday, he took the squad through a training session at Cormack Park.
He said: “I hadn’t worked on the training pitch with them or seen players at close quarters.
“I know some of them. Good boys and good players.
“It’s something we will find out as we go on, especially against St Johnstone.
“I’ve been at Pittodrie (not Cormack Park), running everything underneath the first team.
“I’ve not seen any training sessions that have gone on.
“I had a decent relationship with Stephen and we spoke a couple of times.
“But I was away from it all. I’ve been extremely busy.
“I haven’t seen any of the away games, but I go to a lot of the home games with my son.
“For whatever reasons, sometimes things don’t work.
“I’m not going to comment on what happened earlier on in the season, that’s all gone now.
“As a club now, we just need to crack on and see where we get on Tuesday night.”