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Duncan Shearer: I’ve seen enough – give the Aberdeen job to Barry Robson

The evidence for Robson to be given the Dons job long-term is overwhelming.

Barry Robson has done a remarkable job in the Dons dugout. Image: SNS
Barry Robson has done a remarkable job in the Dons dugout. Image: SNS

Barry Robson’s ascension to the role of Aberdeen manager in the long-term is all but assured following Sunday’s outstanding 2-0 win against Rangers at Pittodrie.

You would struggle to come up with another manager for the job at this point and I think everyone would be pretty shocked and disappointed if the club opted for someone else.

Since Barry was put in charge he has achieved results and has put his name firmly in the frame by getting one victory after another.

But with seven wins in a row and five games without conceding a goal, there is no case to be made for anyone other than Barry being given the job at the moment.

Barry’s remit was to get the club back into Europe and that prize is now in sight for Aberdeen.

I’ll repeat what I’ve said previously – Barry is a local lad, he gets what Aberdeen means to the local community and he has a good team around him.

But most importantly of all, it appears every single player has bought into his vision and is delivering.

I spoke to new chief executive Alan Burrows up at the Ross County game earlier this month and I could see how happy he was at seeing the team beat County 1-0.

He is a football fan who immersed himself in all things Motherwell previously – and it was clear he has done so again at the Dons.

Goodness knows what he must have been like following Sunday’s game at Pittodrie.

Stirring second half display at Pittodrie

The match against Rangers was another acid test for the Aberdeen team and their rookie manager.

Hearts’ big win against Ross County meant the gap was down to two points and questions were being asked of the Dons.

Striker Bojan Miovski celebrates after putting Aberdeen 2-0 ahead against Rangers. Image: Shutterstock

Their response was terrific as a rousing second half swept Rangers aside to restore the five-point lead.

The first half was a little shaky from the Dons. They didn’t really get going and Rangers had them on the ropes, but a combination of good defending and excellent goalkeeping ensured they reached the break still level.

But the second half was a different story entirely.

There was an element of good fortune about Liam Scales’ opener, but you need some luck in these games at times.

From the moment the ball looped over Allan MacGregor’s head and into the net, Pittodrie exploded and the whole mood in the stadium changed.

Aberdeen took control from that point and the second goal was a thing of beauty.

Leighton Clarkson’s excellent cross was matched by the timing and execution of Bojan Miovski’s diving header to double the lead.

Defensive resilience of the Dons has been crucial

Kelle Roos celebrated another clean sheet. Image: SNS

Miovski’s goal was outstanding and he and Duk deserve the praise they’ve received after both reaching the 18-goal mark (all competitions) with five games remaining.

But we cannot overlook the defenders in this incredible revival.

Angus MacDonald, Mattie Pollock and Scales have been superb. They keep it simple by winning headers, making tackles and clearing their lines.

They have protected their goalkeeper brilliantly and you can see how much confidence Roos has with those guys in front of him.

There’s no secret to the turnaround. Good old-fashioned hard work and a back-to-basics approach has paid dividends for the Dons – and it should lead to Barry being named manager long-term.

An extended season beckons for Caley Thistle

Austin Samuels celebrates his equaliser for ICT against Dundee. Images: Euan Cherry/SNS Group

Billy Dodds and his Caley Thistle players will be glad of having a full week to catch their breath to prepare for Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Falkirk.

They looked jaded in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Dundee at Caledonian Stadium, but it’s hardly surprising given the schedule they’ve had.

Following six wins in a row, Caley Thistle have put themselves firmly in the play-off race again.

A month ago, I had little hope they would be in the mix.

A win on Saturday would have been fantastic, but I don’t think either side did enough to warrant taking all three points.

As I said, Caley Thistle looked tired – while Dundee did not look like a side pushing for the title. Maybe the nerves are jangling as the finish line looms for the league leaders?

But Inverness can put promotion to one side for a few days at least as they turn their attention to their Hampden date with Falkirk this weekend.

They have a fantastic chance to end a rollercoaster season with a Scottish Cup final and the play-offs – and I’m hopeful all the hard work of recent weeks can lead to the Highlanders’ campaign being extended.

Return to the Championship looking likely for Ross County

As bad days at the office go, Saturday was undoubtedly the worst of the season for Ross County.

Losing heavily at Hearts was bad enough, but the misery of a dire display was compounded by wins for Dundee United and Kilmarnock.

The Staggies are now four points adrift of safety, and I’d be lying if I said I’m not fearing the worst at this point.

There’s no sugar coating it – the defending at Tynecastle was horrific and the attacking threat was practically non-existent from Malky Mackay’s side.

Ross County players look dejected after defeat at Tynecastle. Image: SNS.

In the end, they were lucky to leave Edinburgh having only lost 6-1. It’s not outlandish to suggest it could and should have been even worse!

The County boss is talking up his side’s prospects, but when you are adrift at the bottom of the league, you find all the teams above you gang up on you.

Every side will be going into the matches against County thinking if they can beat the Staggies then that will keep them bottom.

If Caley Thistle are fighting for a play-off place, then Ross County are fighting for their lives at this point.