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Jim Goodwin to STAY as Aberdeen boss – as Dave Cormack says players still ‘behind’ manager after Darvel disaster

Jim Goodwin following the 1-0 Scottish Cup defeat suffered by Aberdeen at Darvel.
Jim Goodwin following the 1-0 Scottish Cup defeat suffered by Aberdeen at Darvel. Image: SNS

Chairman Dave Cormack says Aberdeen chiefs are convinced the Dons players remain “behind” Jim Goodwin –  as he announced the club would stand by their under-fire manager.

Goodwin had been under immense pressure following the 1-0 loss against sixth-tier Darvel in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup on Monday – the worst result in Reds history and the biggest upset in Scottish football history.

The Dons have won just once in nine outings since the winter break, with their hopes of finishing third in the Premiership all but ended by a 5-0 thrashing at Hearts last Saturday.

Two weekends ago, they exited the League Cup at the semi-final stage at the hands of Rangers at Hampden, losing 2-1 after extra-time.

After almost 48 hours of crisis talks following the Reds’ Darvel disaster, chief Cormack broke his silence on Wednesday evening to confirm Goodwin will remain in the Aberdeen hotseat – for now.

However, the Dons’ football monitoring board – Cormack, ex-chairman Stewart Milne, former player and assistant boss Willie Garner, and director of football Steven Gunn –  want an “immediate response” when the team travel to Easter Road to play Hibs in the league on Saturday.

Cormack said: “We all recognise that Monday’s disastrous result in the Scottish Cup was totally unacceptable.

“It added insult to injury after such a poor result against Hearts, following what was a strong performance in the semi-final against Rangers at Hampden.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack, left, at Darvel. Image: SNS

“The football monitoring board, comprising Stewart Milne, Willie Garner, Steven Gunn and me, have now had a full and frank meeting with Jim.

“It wasn’t an easy conversation, but necessary after the overall poor results since the World Cup break.

“From our wider discussions over the last two days, we believe that the senior players and the squad are behind the manager.

“Combined with our discussions at today’s meeting, Jim will be in the dugout on Saturday.

“However, to be clear, Jim has been left in no doubt that the board and the fans are seeking an immediate response from him and the players.”

Two days of crisis talks end with Goodwin still in Dons hotseat

In the two days following Aberdeen’s dismal early national trophy exit at Darvel, the vast majority of Dons fans on social media have made clear they have lost patience with Goodwin.

On Tuesday, the day after the Ayrshire shocker, the 41-year-old held debrief talks with his squad at the Reds’ Cormack Park training ground.

Jim Goodwin leaving Cormack Park on Tuesday. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

Then, on Wednesday, the Aberdeen board met at Pittodrie ahead of the summit between the football monitoring board and Goodwin.

These talks may have convinced the club hierarchy Goodwin remains the best man to turn the Dons’ performances and results around, but the supporters’ anger is likely to remain unless there is a sustained upturn in form in the weeks ahead.

Calls for Goodwin to go will intensify further should the stuttering Reds fail to get a result against Hibs – who are also struggling under Lee Johnson – this weekend.

In considering whether to make a change at this stage, the Aberdeen board were understood to be concerned about the message sacking their third manager – after Glass and Derek McInnes – in less than two years would send.

There will also have been a financial cost to consider with Goodwin contracted to the club until 2024, as well as potential replacements.

The impending end of the January transfer window, and the need to bring in reinforcements to the Dons squad before the window slams shut on Tuesday, may have also played into their thinking, as Goodwin will have been heavily involved in those  recruitment efforts to this point.

Jim Goodwin following Aberdeen’s 1-0 defeat at Darvel in the Scottish Cup fourth round. Image: SNS

Goodwin replaced Stephen Glass last February, and was backed to the tune of £1.5million as he performed a near-complete rebuild of the Aberdeen squad during the summer window.

However, despite impressive, attacking early-season Premiership performances at home, the Dons inability to get consistent results away from home has continued this season – with just two wins from 11 league outings on the road.

While some signings like attacker Duk have sparkled at times, the defence have often been criticised for their performances.

Despite these issues, Goodwin had Aberdeen comfortably in third place before the World Cup break in November.

But their post-shutdown problems, culminating in Monday’s unprecedented low at Darvel – the third performance since Christmas Goodwin has apologised to the fans for – have piled the pressure on the former St Mirren midfielder’s shoulders, who described both the Hearts and Darvel results as “embarrassing” and “humiliating”.

Bojan Miovski scores against Darvel, but its ruled out for offside. Image: SNS