A member of an Aberdeen fan group says he’s not surprised by Tony Docherty’s defence of boss Derek McInnes.
The Dons assistant manager has labelled criticism of the Pittodrie gaffer as “absurd, preposterous and disrespectful”.
McInnes has received flak as a result of some uninspiring recent performances.
During Sunday’s 0-0 draw with St Mirren in Paisley some members of the Red Army could be heard calling for McInnes to leave Aberdeen.
His No2 Docherty defended McInnes, but didn’t vent his disappointment directly at fans, but critics in general.
Chris Smith, from Dons Supporters Together, said: “It’s perhaps unsurprising. Ultimately he’s defending his colleague and friend who is having his ability brought into question.
“But a head-on dismissal of supporter opinion is always risky.
“Fans – the lifeblood of the club – are entitled to express their views and you might expect the management team to respect if not accept it.”
Although Aberdeen are sitting fourth in the Premiership and are in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup, Smith believes some of the performances this season have been underwhelming.
He said: “As far as recent results and performances are concerned, it (criticism) could be deemed fair.
“The results have not been there and the performances have been disjointed.
“While the players can’t be immune to criticism either – and plenty has come their way, too – a level of sympathy sits with them because there’s such a lack of continuity and consistency in both personnel and the tactical approach.
“Injuries do mitigate that somewhat but not as far as to explain recent efforts. Generally speaking, the support seems split into two arguments: those who say to look where we were before McInnes took over and those who feel we’re underperforming given current expectations and resources.
“Both opinions have their merits but the latter is most prevalent, certainly on social media and increasingly so in the stands.
“You would imagine it is certainly of more relevance to the board.”
Under McInnes Aberdeen have won the League Cup in 2014 and reached three more cup finals as well as finishing second in the Premiership four times, third once and fourth once and have qualified for European football for six successive seasons.
However, Smith believes there has been a decline in performances in recent times.
He said: “Looking back on the season so far there have been only a small number of matches in which Aberdeen’s superiority in quality and finances has been evident in the scoreline and performance. Especially in terms of entertainment value.
“The manager often laments the departure of quality players and the loss of (Jonny) Hayes, (Kenny) McLean and (Graeme) Shinnie in successive seasons has eroded the identity and tempo that was so effective in McInnes’ first few seasons.
“This slump has been accentuated by what’s happening off the pitch. Efforts, successful so far, to improve the atmosphere and match day experience will be easily undermined when at the heart of enjoyment is the performance of the team.
“If that continues a ‘football decision’ may become a business one for the board. Uefa figures show how important clicks of the turnstile are for Scottish football and Aberdeen need all the fans they can get.
“You can’t always expect showtime football. Sometimes it is about getting the job done, but that flair and intent has been missing for the last two seasons.”