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Pittodrie changes

Dons part company with long-serving McInnes

Derek McInnes

Time up: Derek McInnes (pic: SNS Group).

Aberdeen have started the search for a new manager after parting ways with long-serving Derek McInnes.

McInnes, along with No. 2 Tony Docherty, had been in charge for eight years but the club has decided a new direction is needed following a poor run of results.

Youth coach Paul Sheerin will be in interim charge until the end of the season, with Darren Fletcher, Paul Lambert, Neil Lennon and Derek Adams among the early favourites for the job.

Aberdeen, who have qualified for Europe in every full season under McInnes since the 2013-2014 campaign, have managed just one win in their last nine matches, scoring one goal in that period. That poor run was enough to convince chairman Dave Cormack to take action following a board meeting.

“During his time in charge Derek raised the bar and delivered a level of consistency not seen at the club for many years, qualifying for Europe each season, and delivering a memorable Scottish League Cup win at Celtic Park in season 2013/14 with 43,000 Dons fans in attendance,” said Cormack.

“Clearly, results since the turn of the year have been disappointing and frustrating for everyone.

“Derek and I reviewed where we were and agreed that this was the right time for him to step down. The club now has the opportunity to appoint a new manager ahead of the new season where, with a number of players out of contract, we have work to do to build a competitive squad.

“Derek and Tony leave with our thanks and gratitude for what they have achieved during their tenure. We wish them well for the future.”

McInnes and Docherty were both under contract until the summer of 2022 and have left by “mutual consent”, according to the club.

McInnes, who took over in the spring of 2013 and was the Premiership’s longest-serving manager, turned down the chance to join Rangers and Sunderland in 2017.

The former Bristol City boss will be a hard act to follow in the north-east, having guided the Dons to League Cup glory in 2014 – their first silverware for nearly two decades – and steering them to second place in the league in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

McInnes said: “This season has been unprecedented due to a number of factors and I am as frustrated as anyone that results haven’t been of the high standard which we set.

“My motivation to deliver success has never wavered and during my eight-year tenure my staff and I have worked hard to elevate expectations and set a minimum standard which should be demanded at a club like Aberdeen FC.”

The 49-year-old had the chance to add to his honours but lost three major finals to Celtic.

He becomes the latest high-profile managerial casualty in the Scottish Premiership, Celtic having recently parted company with Lennon, and he leaves with one of the best win ratios in the club’s history, his 52% beaten only by Billy McNeill, Sir Alex Ferguson and the Alex Smith-Jocky Scott co-management team.

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