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Joe Harper: Peter Leven will be a huge asset to new Aberdeen boss Jimmy Thelin

Leven will revert to backroom role after steering the Dons to Premiership safety in caretaker role.

Peter Leven. Image: SNS
Peter Leven. Image: SNS

Peter Leven deserves his flowers for the remarkable job he has done at Aberdeen.

Things could not have been much worse when Peter replaced interim manager Neil Warnock in the Aberdeen dugout, but he did a terrific job.

He took a team who were low on confidence and transformed them into a side who scored a lot of goals and were strong defensively.

That is impressive at the best of times, but to do so in such a short period is fantastic.

I was pleased to see the Aberdeen fans recognise that by chanting his name after the final home game against Livingston and at Ross County on Sunday.

He made no changes to the team. It was the same group of players who were not doing well – so the credit has to go to Peter.

A manager can make you feel like a king or a dud, and obviously Peter has gone into the dressing room, restored confidence and got a group of players to play as a team.

Aberdeen’s Jamie McGrath celebrates with teammates after scoring to make it 2-1 against Ross County. Image: SNS.

That’s been the most important part for me. I looked at a group in the Pittodrie changing room who played as if they didn’t know each other at times.

Contrast that with what we saw in the post-split fixtures. That’s the biggest change Peter managed to make in his spell in charge.

Whatever he said, it worked.

‘Peter deserves every pat on the back going’

There were good performances at times under Barry Robson such as beating Rangers at Ibrox and beating Hibs with 10 men at Hampden in the semi-final of the League Cup.

But there were some pretty disastrous results, too, especially against teams in the bottom half of the table.

The change was made in the dugout, yet it got worse under Warnock, who, other than sign Junior Hoilett, did nothing in his time in charge.

That’s why we slipped into the relegation mire.

I never feared we would be relegated, but Peter still deserves every pat on the back going for what he has done.

Coach will be vital for new manager Jimmy Thelin

Peter Leven will be part of Jimmy Thelin’s backroom staff at Pittodrie. Image: Shutterstock.

The job Peter has done will have new manager Jimmy Thelin feeling much more positive about taking charge at Pittodrie.

I think we were all thinking another big overhaul would be required this summer, but I’m not so sure now.

Clearly there are areas we need to strengthen, but Thelin will be pleased with what he has seen from the team he is inheriting from Peter.

Peter has shown he knows the players and, more importantly, knows how to motivate them and get them playing.

That’s a terrific advantage for a new manager in a new country to have.

Thelin and his assistants Christer Persson and Emir Bajrami are new to Scottish football so having someone with the experience not just of the game here, but also the knowledge of the squad will be vital.

I doubt the training will be changed too drastically. Peter will be a big part of the backroom staff and he deserves to be for the magnificent job he did.

Put it this way… the Aberdeen fans are much happier about their team and the club now than they were before he took over – and it’s all down to Peter.

McCrorie can take his Scotland chance

Ross McCrorie is in line to win his first Scotland cap this summer. Image: SNS.

I’m delighted to see former Don Ross McCrorie earn a place in Steve Clarke’s provisional squad for the Euros.

It has been a tough season for the ex-Aberdeen defender, who missed the first half of the season due to injury at his new club Bristol City.

But he has done brilliantly to get back to his best in England, and with Nathan Patterson and Aaron Hickey both ruled out of the tournament in Germany, Ross has a great chance to go and prove himself.

What a way to win your first cap for your country it would be should Ross make his debut in Germany.

But Aberdeen fans will know he won’t let anyone down.

He was terrific for the Dons in his time at Pittodrie and he has been banging on the international door for some time.

It’s a shame Hickey and Patterson will miss out, but this is Ross’ chance to shine and I’m backing him to take it.

Ross is not the only former Don to make the squad with Ryan Jack, Scott McKenna, Kenny McLean, Ryan Christie and Lawrence Shankland – who all played for the club at one point – all making the squad.

It’s a shame young Don Connor Barron did not make the squad as being involved would have been terrific for him.

But I’ve little doubt his time will come.

Besuijen bang in form at Emmen

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Pieter van der Woude/Orange Pictures/Shutterstock (14362367aq) Vicente Besuijen of FC Emmen looks on during the Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie match between FC Emmen and SC Cambuur at De Oude Meerdijk on February 23, 2024 in Emmen, Netherlands. FC Emmen v SC Cambuur - Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie, De Oude Meerdijk, Emmen, Netherlands - 23 Feb 2024
Aberdeen winger Vicente Besuijen is chasing promotion with loan club FC Emmen. Image: Shutterstock.

Good luck to Vicente Besuijen as he tries to help his loan club FC Emmen reach the play-off final in the Netherlands on Saturday.

The Dons winger looked down and out at Pittodrie after failing to feature for former manager Barry Robson, but he looks to have regained his confidence in Holland.

He has played a leading role in his team’s run in the play-offs, and here’s hoping he returns to Aberdeen this summer ready to make the most of his fresh start under new boss Jimmy Thelin.