Neil Warnock has been confirmed as Aberdeen’s interim manager for the rest of the season.
The 75-year-old arrives at Pittodrie alongside assistant manager Ronnie Jepson and will be in the dugout on Tuesday evening when the Dons take on Rangers at Ibrox.
Warnock has spoken on several occasions of his desire to manage in Scotland and has previously applied for the Aberdeen job.
He succeeds Barry Robson who was sacked following last week’s 1-1 home draw against Dundee.
The Dons board have opted to appoint an interim manager in order to give them time to complete a review of their football operation ahead of making a longer-term managerial appointment in the summer.
Commenting on the appointment, Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack said: “From the moment we first spoke with Neil his enthusiasm for managing Aberdeen was infectious.
“He has had an incredible career in management, not only in terms of volume of games and winning promotions, but also of coming into clubs at short notice and making an immediate impact.
“We look forward to Neil, Ronnie and the team pushing hard in the remaining four months of the campaign as we still have a huge amount to play for both in the Premiership and the Scottish Cup.”
‘The right opportunity’
Warnock said: “I’m really looking forward to the challenge here at Aberdeen.
“I’ve made no secret of the fact I’ve always wanted to manage in Scotland so when I spoke to Dave and Alan (Burrows, chief executive) and they asked me to help out it just felt like the right opportunity.
“By all accounts there is a good group of lads here and it’s my job now to get the best out of them.
“Aberdeen is a big club with clear ambition and I’m hoping that during my time here the supporters will get behind the team and I can put a smile on their faces.”
Talking about the review of Aberdeen’s football operations, Cormack said: “Ambitious clubs regularly invest in independent advice to support internal coaching, data analysis, recruitment and medical teams with the goal of improving performance through continuous learning and development.
“The highly experienced team of independent advisors, who do this work with some of the best clubs across the globe, will make recommendations to allow us to understand what we can improve upon in terms of best practice going forward.
“The review will include benchmarking the club against similar teams that currently outperform us in Europe.
“With this work well under way, and due to be completed by early April, we are aiming to have a new management team confirmed by the end of the season.”
Impressive record in management
This will be Warnock’s 20th managerial job during a career in which he has won eight promotions in English football.
His first job was at Gainsborough Trinity in 1980 and he has gone on to enjoy spells in charge of a plethora of clubs including Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers, Leeds United, Cardiff City and Middlesbrough.
Most recently, Warnock took charge of Huddersfield Town in February last year until the end of the 2022-23 season and guided them to safety despite being seven points adrift in March.
He agreed a one-year extension in June but left the club in September.
The Press and Journal reported on Wednesday that Warnock was under consideration by the Dons board as a short-term solution to give them time to undertake a thorough recruitment process for a longer-term managerial option.
Peter Leven took charge of the Dons for Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Premiership leaders Celtic but admitted after the game that he was unsure if he would still be in the dugout for Tuesday’s match against Rangers and was taking things “day by day”.
Jepson joins Warnock as assistant manager at Pittodrie, while Leven will stay on as first team coach. Jepson worked alongside Warnock at Huddersfield.
Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon became the favourite with the bookmakers for the Aberdeen job on Thursday evening but it is understood he was not under consideration for the interim role.
Former Sunderland and Stoke City boss Alex Neil, who had also been linked to the vacancy, is also reportedly not looking to return to Scotland.
Arsenal youth coach Jack Wilshere was keen on the vacancy, while it was reported in the Mail on Sunday that former Fulham boss Scott Parker turned down the opportunity to discuss the role with the Dons.
Warnock inherits a Dons team that sits eighth in the Scottish Premiership and has a last-16 Scottish Cup tie against Bonnyrigg Rose coming up on Saturday.