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Aberdeen players to blame for Stephen Glass’ sacking, admits Jonny Hayes

Jonny Hayes insists Aberdeen players must take the responsibility for Stephen Glass' sacking.
Jonny Hayes insists Aberdeen players must take the responsibility for Stephen Glass' sacking.

Aberdeen winger Jonny Hayes admits the players are to blame for Stephen Glass being sacked.

Glass was axed after just 11 months as Dons manager as a dismal run of form continued with a 2-1 Scottish Cup loss at Motherwell.

The hunt is on for Glass’ replacement and Hayes believes bossing Aberdeen will be an attractive proposition for many managers.

St Mirren’s Jim Goodwin, 40, is the front-runner for the Pittodrie hot-seat.

Aberdeen made an approach to St Mirren to talk to Goodwin, but that was rejected by the Paisley club.

St Mirren want a compensation fee agreed, understood to be around £250,000, before granting permission for Goodwin to open up dialogue.

Talks over compensation are on-going with St Mirren.

Goodwin is on a short-list of candidates Aberdeen are keen to talk to.

Hayes admits the players let Glass down and now they must save the season.

He said: “As players, we understand we have to bear the brunt of that.

“There is a bit of collective responsibility through the whole football club, that is the way we operate.

“We all feel a bit down because people who we had a good relationship with are losing their job.

“It has been tough because with the gaffer, Allan (Russell, assistant manager) and Henry (Apaloo, coach) leaving. We all had a good relationship with them.

“They were brilliant to work under and worked their socks off.

“It was a shame to see them lose their job by the team under-performing.”

Aberdeen’s Jonny Hayes has a shot on goal against St Johnstone.

Aberdeen attractive for managers

Bodo/Glimt boss Kjetil Knutsen ruled himself out of contention for the Aberdeen manager’s job earlier this week.

Norwegian title-winning Knutsen was on an initial six man short-list that the Dons were keen to talk to.

Aberdeen aim to ramp up the interview process this week and there are other candidates.

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin is the front-runner to be new Aberdeen boss.

However, Goodwin, contracted to St Mirren until summer 2024, remains in pole position to land the position.

Hayes, 34, said: “There will be managers in and out of work who want it.

“It is not my area of expertise who would want the job.

“I know how good a football club it is.

“It is an opportunity to come in and do well, so there will be a lot of candidates.

“We have a decent squad and whoever comes in will inherit good players.”

Still a ‘shock’ when Glass was sacked

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack and the Pittodrie board dismissed Glass after the Scottish Cup exit at Motherwell.

The Reds had also dropped down to ninth in the Premiership table.

Hayes admits he ‘half-expected’ something to happen due to the poor results, but it was still a shock when the axe fell.

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

He said: “I have been a footballer long enough to know when to half-expect something with the way results are going.

“Coming in on Sunday, we were ready to do our recovery and others were training and it was still a bit of a shock to be honest.

“There was no lack of effort from the staff at all.

“They had a great relationship with the players and it’s a shame they didn’t keep their jobs longer.

“Now we need to look forward. There is no time to dwell on it.

“We had a game on Tuesday (1-1 draw with St Johnstone) which we should have won and we have another game on Saturday where we will go and try and get the three points.”

Poor refereeing decisions also costly

Hayes also believes poor refereeing decisions cost Aberdeen points during the slump that ultimately cost Glass’ his job.

Since the turn of the year, there was the denial of a clear penalty against Rangers at 0-0 in the 1-1 draw last month.

Aberdeen were also denied a spot-kick against Livingston (2-1 loss) when Lewis Ferguson was hauled down in the box.

Jota’s winner in a 3-2 loss to Celtic should not have stood as Liel Abada was offside.

Aberdeen’s Jonny Hayes has an effort on goal as St Johnstone’s James Brown clashes with Lewis Ferguson

Hayes said: “I’m not one for harping on about refereeing decisions, but there have been little things that have cost us.

“That could have been the difference between six, seven, eight or nine points over the last few weeks.

“There is a human element and you don’t want to batter on.

“However, there seems there have been a number of decisions that have gone against us.

“Not to say that is why they have lost their jobs, but it certainly adds to the frustration of the player not picking up enough points.

“That is also not getting away from the performances, because we know they could have been a lot better over a number of months.

“But there are little things that add up and are frustrating at times.”

‘I don’t think there is lack of stability’

While the process of securing a new manager continues apace, Barry Robson will be in interim charge of the first team.

Having stepped up from the U18s Robson was in the dugout to oversee the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone on Tuesday.

Hayes insists, despite Glass’ exit, there remains stability.

Aberdeen interim head coach Barry Robson during the draw with St Johnstone.

He said: “I don’t think there is a lack of stability.

“There  is an ethos at this club and it doesn’t just come from one manager.

“It is an ethos at the club and we all move in the one direction, from the club down.

“Barry is brilliant to work under and I have played with him.

“Any time when he has come in and taken sessions, and even at the back end of last season with Paul (Sheerin – after Derek McInnes left the club), he was brilliant.

“Barry and Scott (Brown, coach and captain) will take the reins as long as is needed while the club look at managers.

“I don’t see any big changes needed other than improvements on the park”

Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson (L) celebrates with Jonny Hayes after making it 1-1 against St Johnstone from the penalty spot.

No thoughts of revenge at Fir Park

Aberdeen will return to Fir Park to face Motherwell on Saturday just seven days after suffering a chastening cup defeat that precipitated Glass’ exit.

Hayes insists he has no thought of gaining revenge – all he wants is three points to start  a climb back up the table.

Aberdeen trudge up the stairs at Fir Park after exiting the Scottish Cup.

He said: “I don’t think there is any revenge or redemption.

“It is another game as a player we will want to win and as a club we are expected to go out and give it our best.

“Every time you go out, there is an onus for you to perform well for Aberdeen.

“We are out of the cup now and the aim is three points.”

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