Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes never had any doubt Scott McKenna would deal with the speculation, pressure and the criticism which came after handing in a transfer request.
McKenna was caught in the eye of a storm after he submitted a transfer request amid interest from a host of English clubs.
McInnes today called for Dons supporters who have given the defender flak for asking to move on from Pittodrie to show more understanding of the situation as there is a “human there, a young boy with a lot going on”.
He said: “It is far too easy to make judgement, comment and criticise anything these days.
“There is a human there. There is a boy who has a lot to take on.
“Until you are maybe in that position people maybe cannot comprehend that there is a lot going on.
“For a few days his head was like a toy shop with all sorts of things going on.
“However, Scott has dealt with everything that has come his way admirably, for me, for the majority of it.”
The Pittodrie board had already rejected bids from Queens Park Rangers and Nottingham Forest for the Scotland international before McKenna dropped his bombshell transfer request.
It arrived days before the Europa League third qualifying round first leg away to Rijeka.
The English transfer window closed at 5pm on Thursday August 8, just hours before the Dons were due to play in Croatia.
Following McKenna’s transfer request, QPR came in with an improved offer on the eve of the Euro tie in Rijeka.
Sheffield Wednesday then emerged as fresh bidders for the 22-year-old, with Bristol City also registering an interest.
McInnes was left furious at the timing of the bids, which came so close to such a pivotal Euro fixture for the Dons and claimed there “was a degree of anger, frustration and contempt” towards the clubs who had left it so late in the window to move.
McKenna was still pitched in from the start against Rijeka and has started the two games since the 2-0- defeat in Croatia. McInnes said: “Scott was obviously keen to make that next step and look at a move.
“However, he understands and respects the club’s stance.
“It is important you respond to disappointment.
“I am not surprised that he dealt with everything.
“His performances have been as good as they normally are.
“I am not surprised by that.
“Scott deserves a lot of credit for dealing with what he has had to deal with.
“He has dealt with it and got on with what is important, which is the job in hand, and done very well for me.”
Aberdeen’s hardline stance on their valuation of McKenna has seen big money bids from Aston Villa, Stoke City, Swansea City, Hull City and Celtic thrown out in previous windows.
Villa had a bid for £6.5m rejected in the final days of last year’s summer transfer window.
McKenna is set to be named in Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad to face Russia and Belgium in the Euro 2020 qualifiers next month.
McInnes has no doubt McKenna’s big move to England will come in the future.
He said: “Scott knows he just has to look after his own performances. If his performance levels are as good as they have been, that will propel him onto the next stage.”
The summer transfer window will officially close in Scotland at midnight on Monday, September 2
Normally the deadline would be midnight on August 31, but some clubs have games on Sunday so it was extended.
Striker Stevie May could yet exit Pittodrie before the deadline with his preferred destination St Johnstone. A proposed move to Saints collapsed recently, but a deal could yet be thrashed out.
Leading scorer Sam Cosgrove has been linked with Italian Serie A side Lazio. Cosgrove has scored nine goals in eight starts this season, including six in Europe. There has been no contact from Lazio for Cosgrove.
McInnes said: “It’s hard for me to comment on pure speculation and if there’s interest in Sam it’s news to me.”