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No surprises for Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin at the size of summer rebuild needed

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin will rebuild the squad this summer.
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin will rebuild the squad this summer.

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin insists he knew the extent of the summer rebuild required before he was appointed manager.

Goodwin wielded the axe after Aberdeen slumped to a lowest Premiership finish since 2004.

Nine first team players have left since Goodwin was appointed Pittodrie manager in mid February.

The clear-out is phase one of a summer squad reconstruction.

It will be the biggest squad rebuild at Pittodrie in years.

However Goodwin insists there were no shock at the extent of the work required as he was well aware what needed to change before taking up the Pittodrie hot seat.

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin during the final game of a disappointing season.

Asked if it is a bigger rebuilding job than he anticipated, Goodwin said: “No. It’s not a bigger rebuilding job.

“I knew the job I was coming into.

“I analysed the squad prior to going into the interview process.

“At the time I told the board where I felt the team needed strengthened and they were overall in agreement.

“We have been working extremely hard since I came in on that.”

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin watching Vicente Besuijen in action against St Mirren.

Goodwin wields axe as part of rebuild

Aberdeen confirmed earlier this week that six first team players will exit the club.

Funso King-Ojo, Dylan McGeouch and Michael Ruth will all leave following the expiry of their contracts.

Long-serving defender Andy Considine will also leave and said an emotional farewell in the final game of the season against St Mirren.

A one year contract extension for Considine, 35, was taken off the table after contract talks broke down.

Aberdeen’s Andrew Considine (4) thanks the fans.

Loan players Adam Montgomery (Celtic) and Teddy Jenks (Brighton and Hove Albion) have also returned to their parent clubs.

The contracts for Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Mikey Devlin had been terminated earlier in the season by Goodwin.

Former skipper Scott Brown also left the club in March.

He had been contracted until summer 2023 but left to concentrate on his coaching career.

Brown was recently appointed manager of League One Fleetwood Town.

‘We’re going to be very busy’

Goodwin insists he “knew what he was coming into” when taking over the Pittodrie reigns.

Aberdeen have failed to qualify for Europe for the first time since 2014.

Goodwin is confident he has the budget and recruitment staff at his disposal to resurrect the Reds next season.

He said: “I knew what I was coming into but I also know the level of ambition that the club has got.

“I knew the playing budget that’s available and also the facilities that are here.

“We’re going to be very busy in the summer, there’s no getting away from it.”

Searching Europe for signing targets

The Dons boss is scouring Europe for summer signings and there are active targets overseas.

He also recently confirmed interest in securing Wolves midfielder Connor Ronan this summer.

Ronan, 24, has completed a successful season long loan spell at St Mirren.

The midfielder was recently called up to the Republic of Ireland squad but has yet to earn a debut cap.

Jim Goodwin with Connor Ronan whilst manager of St Mirren.

Ronan is contracted to Wolves until summer 2024 but has not played for the Premier League club for almost four years.

He has spent loan spells at six different clubs – St Mirren, 1904 Dunajská Streda (Slovakia), Grasshoppers (Switzlerland), Blackpool Walsall and Portsmouth.

Goodwin is also interested in Wigan Athletic’s Republic of Ireland international midfielder Jamie McGrath.

Former Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass attempted to sign McGrath in the January transfer window.

Midfielder Jamie McGrath, now at Wigan Athletic, during his time at St Mirren.

However McGrath knocked back Aberdeen’s advances to move to Wigan.

Goodwin took McGrath to St Mirren from Dundalk and was manager at the Paisley club when he was sold to Wigan.

McGrath has struggled to secure a starting slot at League One champions Wigan since his winter window transfer.

Aberdeen’s Dante Polvara goes close with a header in the 0-0 draw with St Mirren.

Ipswich Town keeper Vaclav Hladky and St Mirren defender Charles Dunne are also on Goodwin’s radar.

Surprise at lack of positive reaction

Another aspect of the Pittodrie job that did not take Goodwin by surprise was the battered confidence of a squad struggling in the bottom six.

However he was surprised that he could not lead the Reds up the table for a top six finish and a shot at  European qualification.

Since his appointment in mid February Goodwin has secured just two wins from his 13 games in charge before the end of the season.

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin during the 0-0 draw with St Mirren.

He said: “There was no surprises in terms of how low the confidence was within the squad.

“I genuinely believed I could get them lifted and get them top six.

“I had hoped that when I came in I would get a bigger reaction from the group.

“That we would get that bounce.

“I still felt there was enough time left to do that.

“I have to take responsibility for that I wasn’t able to get the kind of reaction I had hoped for.”

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