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Duncan Shearer: Disappointment but no surprise at Billy Dodds’ departure from Caley Thistle

The management team have taken the fall with Caley Jags propping up the Championship.

Billy Dodds' two-year tenure at Caley Thistle is over. Image: SNS
Billy Dodds' two-year tenure at Caley Thistle is over. Image: SNS

I wonder if the dismissal of Billy Dodds and his assistant Barry Wilson is a sign of things to come at Caley Thistle.

The search is under way for a new head coach at Caley Thistle following the dismissal of Doddsy and Barry on Sunday.

With sporting director John Robertson and academy director Charlie Christie taking charge of first team affairs on an interim basis, it will be interesting to see how long the caretakers stay in post.

The financial picture has not made for pleasant viewing at the club and removing two members of the coaching staff from the wage bill while having two former managers on the books has helped make the decision easier for the board.

Results have not been good enough

I’m disappointed but not surprised the directors have decided to make a change.

The results haven’t been good enough for a club with aspirations of challenging for promotion this season – but I’m not convinced life will get any easier for Caley Thistle.

Promotion remains the number one priority for the club and there is no getting away from the fact, since beating Bonnyrigg Rose in the opening game of the season in the League Cup, the team has gone nine games without a win.

One point from 15 in the Championship is a dreadful start and clearly a drastic improvement is needed.

But changing the manager is a big call.

From flavour of the month to out the door in three months

The statement from the board on Sunday made it clear they believe a different voice in the changing room can get the club’s season back on track.

It’s a remarkable comment given it was only three months ago Inverness played in the Scottish Cup final and new contracts were handed out to the management team.

How quickly people forget in this game.

The cup run was a huge one for the club financially at a time when the funds were needed most – and Doddsy and Barry played leading roles in that memorable run.

Inverness head coach Billy Dodds, right, and coach Barry Wilson were given new deals before the Scottish Cup final in June. Image: SNS.

It will be interesting to see what effect the change has on the squad as the majority of them are his signings from the last two years.

I also wonder what new recruit Nikola Udjur is thinking about it all, given the man who signed him has gone just as he is arriving at the club.

Interim management team need to find a goalscoring solution

Caley Thistle striker Billy Mckay. Image: SNS

With the search now under way, the short-term focus has to be on recording a first win of the season.

With just three goals scored in the league in their five league matches, it is clear which area is in need of the most improvement.

Caley Jags haven’t conceded too many goals, but when you are not scoring it piles the pressure on to the defence.

That played out at Raith Rovers on Saturday as Inverness conceded the only goal of the game three minutes from time.

They are creating chances, but just not putting the ball away.

The club need a result to spark their season into life.

With Dundee United visiting Caledonian Stadium on Saturday, the board will be hoping Robbo and Charlie can make this weekend the one which kick-starts the club’s season.

I’m sad to see Doddsy and Barry lose their jobs and I wish the interim coaching team the best of luck.

Now the decision has been made, it will be fascinating to see whether the risk pays off for the club in the weeks ahead.

Aberdeen fans’ patience is wearing thin

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson during the 2-0 loss to Hearts. Image: SNS.

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson needs to change the narrative as he embarks on a pivotal week.

Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Hearts at Tynecastle was the latest in a series of disappointing results.

The Dons boss has mentioned the need for patience regularly in recent weeks.

But it is clear many of the Aberdeen support are struggling to find any after watching their rebuilt side continue to struggle.

He has also talked up his experience in the game as a way of showing confidence things will improve.

That’s all well and good, but if the improvements don’t come, those comments start to fall on deaf ears among the fans.

Barry is right to say he has brought in 13 new players to the club and they are all still getting to know each other.

But that same experience serves as a timely warning the one thing you have to get as a manager is results – and they just haven’t been coming.

Questions persist about the Dons’ formation

Barry has been well backed by the board since being installed as manager.

The club has got behind him and given him the means to take the club forward with the task of building on last season’s third-place finish.

But here we are five games into the season and the Dons are second bottom with two points and eight points off third place already.

They haven’t kept a clean sheet in the last seven matches in all competitions and have failed to score in three of their five league games to date.

The task is not getting any easier either, with a trip to Germany on Thursday to face Eintracht Frankfurt, followed by a testing league and cup double-header against Ross County.

I get the feeling the Dons are going into these games with the manager still unsure of what his best team is.

He wants to play the 3-5-2 formation which served him so well last season, but in the last three games against Hearts, Hibs and Hacken, he has switched to a back four for the second half.

He needs to pick a system and work on it, as the chopping and changing can’t be good for confidence.

What has happened to Duk?

Aberdeen striker Duk. Image: Shutterstock.

It’s not just the defence who are struggling.

The midfield are not imposing themselves on games and are being bypassed to the extent Duk and Bojan Miovski have been isolated up front.

Miovski at least has a few goals to his name. Duk has so far looked a shadow of the player of last season – and has now gone 13 competitive games without a goal.

The last time he was on the scoresheet was in a 1-0 win at Ross County on April 14.

Like Barry, I played for and coached at Aberdeen, and I know the Aberdeen fans do not take too kindly to being turned over in Edinburgh.

Defeats there hurt more than a loss to Rangers and Celtic, and at least against the big two you can point to the financial gulf between the teams.

The timing of the trip to Frankfurt on Thursday could not be much worse for the Dons.

Facing a team who won the Europa League 18 months ago is a huge task at the best of times, but, honestly, I’m not expecting Aberdeen to return with three points from this.

Even a draw would be a magnificent result the way things have been going.

Ross County lie in wait for the wounded Dons

Ross County’s Simon Murray celebrates scoring against Livingston. Image: SNS.

But what they do have to do is perform against Ross County at Pittodrie in the Premiership this weekend, and in Dingwall next week in the quarter-final of the Viaplay Cup.

Aberdeen fans will expect their team to win those games against the Staggies – but I’m sure County boss Malky Mackay will be rubbing his hands at the prospect of facing Barry’s team.

Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Livingston was viewed as two points dropped by County.

However, it should be noted the only defeats they have suffered this season have been against Celtic and Rangers.

Simon Murray is absolutely flying at the minute and he is carrying a threat in every game.

I’ve said previously I regard him as a pest of a player to play against, but he is delivering the goals to match his workrate, and his manager must be thrilled with what he’s getting from his striker.

County will always be underdogs against Aberdeen, but Malky has to be fancying his chances ahead of the two meetings with Barry Robson’s side.

If the Staggies can get something from Pittodrie on Sunday, and they follow it up by knocking Aberdeen out of the League Cup next week, then the patience Dons boss Robson has been calling for from the fans might just snap.