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Aberdeen’s new manager is watching – Interim boss Barry Robson’s warning to players

Aberdeen Interim Head Coach Barry Robson at full time of the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone.
Aberdeen Interim Head Coach Barry Robson at full time of the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone.

Interim boss Barry Robson has warned players will  already be under the new Aberdeen manager’s microscope.

Aberdeen are closing in on securing St Mirren’s Jim Goodwin as their new manager.

The Dons have received permission by the Buddies to talk to Goodwin about the vacant Pittodrie managerial post.

Negotiations are ongoing and it is understood Aberdeen hope to confirm Goodwin as new Aberdeen manager as early as today.

An initial official approach by the Dons for permission to talk to Goodwin was rejected by the Buddies earlier this week

t Mirren wanted a compensation figure agreed before granting permission Aberdeen to open up dialogue with Goodwin.

The Reds were also prepared to trigger Goodwin’s £250,000 release clause should a compensation package not be agreed.

The Reds made a fresh approach to St Mirren and were been given the green light to speak to the 4o-year-old about becoming Aberdeen manager.

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin

Robson said: “Someone else will take this over and they are going to be watching.

“In football you cannot take your foot off the gas and think there is no manager here.

“Someone is always watching you. You are always judged.

“They need to be at it.

“They are employed by the football club to perform and try to win.

“It is Aberdeen football club they are playing for and that is the expectation of what they should do.”

Aberdeen Interim Head Coach Barry Robson during the draw with St Johnstone.

Aberdeen closing in on Goodwin

Goodwin is contracted to St Mirren until summer 2024 and is the highest paid manager in the Paisley club’s history.

The Dons completed the interview process on Thursday with candidates on their shortlist to replace axed Stephen Glass.

A number of other candidates have been considered which was whittled down to a short-list of six.

Former Hibs and Sunderland boss Jack Ross is one of the candidates who held talks about taking over at Pittodrie.

Highly-rated Bodo/Glimt manager Kjetil Knutsen was on that six man list but rejected the opportunity to  discuss potentially replacing Glass earlier this week.

Knutsen led Bodo/Glimt to a 3-1 Conference League defeat of Celtic at Parkhead on Thursday.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack during the Premiership match against St Johnstone at Pittodrie.

‘There is no secret or magic wand’

Robson has stepped up from the U18’s to lead an interim management team comprising Neil Simpson, coach Scott Anderson and captain Scott Brown.

Midfielder Brown, 36, is set to be in the dugout at Fir Park as he is expected to be ruled out from playing by a hamstring injury.

Aberdeen’s Scottish Cup bid, and Glass’ Pittodrie career, ended at Motherwell last weekend when crashing out 2-1 at the fifth round stage.

Just seven days after that low-point the Dons return to Fir Park on league duty.

Robson was in temporary charge of the Dons for the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone on Tuesday.

Aberdeen’s Scott Brown suffers an injury against St Johnstone.

Aberdeen have yet to win a Premiership match in 2022.

In the six league fixtures since the turn of the year the Reds have taken just three points from a possible 18.

Robson accepts confidence is fragile after the slump in form and the exit of Glass.

He said: “Winning games breeds confidence.

“There is no other secret or magic wand.

“How do you build confidence? Win football matches.

“When that happens you start to feel a bit better about yourself.

“Then less pressure comes from other areas then you start to get into a rhythm.

“Before the game (St Johnstone), you could see that there was a lack of confidence in the team.

“We dug ourselves back into the game and we got better and stronger and I could see the belief coming.

“I saw a wee bit of bounce in them on Thursday when they came into the building.”

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

Looking up the table, not down

Aberdeen sit eighth in a congested middle section of the Premiership table that could see fortunes quickly swing either way.

The Reds are just three points behind fourth placed Dundee United.

However they are also only  nine points ahead of Dundee who occupy the relegation play-off zone.

St Johnstone’s Glenn Middleton (L) battles with Aberdeen’s Jack Mackenzie at Pittodrie.

Robson said: “They are good boys in there and hopefully with a wee bit of confidence we can grab a win to get us up the table.

“I’m starting to see the belief coming from them.

“Hopefully we can see that against a really difficult Motherwell side.

“It is personal pride, every player will have that.

“Fans love the club, expect us to run, work hard and be a good footballer.

New manager can bring back success

Robson aims to hand over the reigns to the new manager on the back of a win.

He hopes the new gaffer will be the catalyst for the Dons rising back to the levels of previous years – and beyond.

He said: “I just want the club to win.

“I’ve been here a long time and know the football club inside out. I know it from the bottom to the top.

“For me it is just making sure we get the club back up the table where it has been over the last seven or eight years under Derek McInnes.

“Obviously seconds and thirds, semi-finals, finals, stability is where Aberdeen were as a club and we are going to try to get back to.”

Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson makes it 1-1 from the penalty spot against St Johnstone.

Alert at Motherwell set play danger

Motherwell will be without manager Graham Alexander for the clash against the Dons.

Alexander was issued with a two game suspension by the Scottish FA following a dismissal against Hibs.

An additional one-match ban has been suspended until the end of the current season.

Robson said: “The one thing you have to be ready for at Motherwell is you have to earn the right to play.

“If they do that then hopefully the talent will come through in the end.

“Of  Motherwell’s goals this season 42% have come from set plays so they are big and aggressive.

“We will need to try to combat that.”