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Duncan Shearer: Time is what the next Aberdeen manager needs most

Jimmy Thelin is the favourite for the Pittodrie post - but whoever takes charge must be given more time than their predecessors to build a team.

Jimmy Thelin while manager of Elfsborg.
Elfsborg manager Jimmy Thelin has been linked with the Aberdeen job. Image: Sipa US/Alamy Live News

It is no secret Jimmy Thelin is the man Aberdeen want to be their new manager – but if the Dons are to land their target it is vital they give him a real chance to prove himself at Pittodrie.

None of the last three Aberdeen managers have managed a full season in charge and that trend has to change.

If it doesn’t, then it won’t really matter who the club appoints.

I don’t know enough about Thelin to offer a strong opinion either way on whether he is the right man for the job.

But Dons chairman Dave Cormack and his football monitoring board at Pittodrie have no doubt conducted a thorough examination of all their candidates before identifying the Elfsborg boss as the man they want.

If Thelin is going to be the next Aberdeen boss, then I will wish him the best of luck.

Whoever ends up taking on the role needs time, though. It has been in short supply for Barry Robson, Jim Goodwin and Stephen Glass.

I believe it takes at least 18 months before we can really assess any manager.

All you can do is identify someone with good credentials, get them into the club and let them get on with the job.

Dons showing signs of finding their form

While the search for the next manager continues interim boss Peter Leven continues to show he is making progress.


Saturday’s goalless draw at Livingston made it three games unbeaten for the Dons and was the team’s second clean sheet in the last three matches.

It was also a rare moment where the same Aberdeen XI have started consecutive games.

From what we’ve seen for long spells this season, all of those positives are cause for optimism.

It does look as if the Dons were very unfortunate not to take all three points from their trip to Livi, however, after Bojan Miovski’s late goal was ruled out for offside.

Watching the freeze frame of the free-kick where offside was given against Angus Macdonald in the build-up to Miovski’s acrobatic finish, I found it really tough to be certain the Dons defender was offside.

But what really astounded me was the SFA’s position they did not need to show the lines showing Macdonald was offside as it was clear.

That’s ridiculous and the SFA are either being lazy or deliberately awkward.

Give us the lines which show the player is offside or not!

I can’t imagine a scenario, in a game where Celtic or Rangers are involved, where the lines would not be drawn or made public, yet it seems the other teams are not afforded the same courtesy.

Hampden semi against Celtic now Aberdeen’s priority

The draw consigned the Dons to the bottom six this season.

It is disappointing, but I expect them to have a big say on which club finishes in the play-off position.

The point gained on Saturday means the gap to the play-off below is now at seven points for the Reds and I believe that will be enough to ensure they are not involved in a play-off at the end of the season.

With two of three from Dundee, Motherwell and Hibernian guaranteed to be in the bottom half with them. we should have a decent fight to be best of the rest.

With Scottish Cup glory now the club’s only route to Europe next season, next weekend’s semi-final against Celtic promises to be a cracker, too.

As difficult a season as they have had, I still believe this Dons team is capable of going all the way.

A win against the Hoops next week would really give them a spring in their step going into the final weeks of the campaign.

Highland clubs’ fight for survival will go to the wire

It is another vital weekend of games for the two clubs in the Highlands in the SPFL this weekend.

The post-split matches for Ross County will be absolutely vital after their predicament worsened at the weekend with a 1-0 defeat by Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

St Johnstone’s 2-1 win at Hibernian means the Staggies are now four points from safety in 11th place in the Premiership and another huge weekend looms large for Don Cowie and his players.

I felt for Don as he was really brave in his approach at Killie, deploying three strikers in Eamonn Brophy, Jordan White and Simon Murray.

It was a real signal of intent and a bold move to try to take the game to a Killie side who have done really well this season under Derek McInnes.

The goal they conceded was really soft with two County players failing to stop the cross coming in for the only goal of the game, and it ensures an already-tense finale is becoming a real nailbiter for the Staggies faithful.

There are real shades of last season developing here as County face a fight to the finish to stay in the division.

But the post-split fixtures can wait – there’s one final game before the split to focus on this Sunday as title challengers Rangers visit Dingwall.

Rangers will be strong favourites, but County have done well at home and Sunday is a chance for the players to showcase their talents in front of the cameras, but also impress their manager too.

With St Johnstone facing Killie County 24 hours earlier, County will be desperate to ensure the worst-case scenario this weekend is for the gap not to increase further.

Caley Thistle have given themselves hope

In the Championship it’s all to play for again for Caley Thistle following their 2-1 win against Arbroath on Saturday.

I was at Caledonian Stadium and Duncan Ferguson’s side really should have won by more.

Alex Samuel was back to his best and deservedly capped a man-of-the-match display by scoring the winning goal.

Had it not been for the heroics of the Red Lichties goalkeeper, he could easily have been celebrating his second hat-trick for the club.

The long overdue win for Caley Jags, coupled with Queen’s Park’s heavy loss at home to Dundee United, means the stage is set for a thriller at Hampden this weekend.

Ninth against eight, separated by just a point, with four games remaining. The stakes are high for this one as Caley Thistle bid to avoid the play-off spot.

Following the city councillors’ decision to reject the club’s plans for a battery storage facility, Inverness have missed out on vital income.

The last thing they need is relegation to League One. If that scenario comes to pass, it would be a huge blow for the club.