Former Don Steve Tosh insists chairman Dave Cormack must ‘step up to the plate’ to deliver a manager to take the club to the next level.
After McInnes’s departure this week Tosh reckons the pressure is on the USA-based chairman to deliver in the hunt for his successor.
Atlanta United 2 coach Stephen Glass remains the front-runner – potentially with a football director.
It is understood Glass has approached Celtic midfielder Scott Brown to become his player-assistant manager if he lands the Aberdeen job.
Brown is considering the offer but still has to make a decision on his Celtic future and wants to see who the new manager at Parkhead is and if he still has a part to play.
Former England, Manchester City, Lazio and Benfica manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, 73, has dismissed reports linking him with an interest in the Aberdeen job.
Tosh believes supporters deserve to be kept in the loop about the hunt for a new manager.
And he warned whoever is appointed McInnes’s successor must be given the financial clout by the board to overhaul the squad this summer.
A major rebuild is required at the end of the season with 12 players out of contract – and no strikers signed for next season.
He said: “Dave Cormack has to step up to the plate – now is his time.
“He has to put his money where his mouth is and provide supporters with hope there will be a new manager that can take the club to the next level.
“Change can be good but Cormack has a huge decision to make now – and he needs to get it right.
“It is a huge call because Aberdeen had seen success under Derek McInnes.
“If you are parting ways with Derek then surely you have an idea as to who you want.
“These things are not done on a whim.
“In Dave we must trust. I have no doubt he has the best interests of Aberdeen Football Club at heart.
“However he is going to have to show it now.
“I hope he makes the right decision and it has to be a manager with a winning mentality – and I trust him to do that.”
Former Pittodrie midfielder Tosh has called for Cormack to inform supporters of his plans for a new manager.
Following McInnes’ departure an interim team of Paul Sheerin, Barry Robson and Neil Simpson were placed in charge of footballing matters until a new manager is appointed.
As names continue to be linked to the vacant post Tosh insists supporters deserve to be kept in the loop and informed on key issues such as whether the eventual appointment will be a traditional manager, or a new structure where a director of football will oversee a coach.
He said: “It cannot be just about appearing on Twitter and trying to appease the fans by saying certain things.
“The chairman needs to come out and inform the supporters what the game plan is.
“Is it a director of football with a first team coach, or is it a manager because there is a big difference?
“I think a director of football overseeing aspects like budget, player contracts and recruitment and then a first team coach is a great system.
“If you are going down a director of football route you have to bring him in first.
“There is no point putting a first team coach in and then appointing a director of football.
“That director of football has to appoint the coach.
“However I’m just not sure if Aberdeen is ready for that at this moment in time.”
Whoever is confirmed as new Dons manager Tosh insists they must be given the financial clout to revamp the squad.
Aberdeen have been hit by multi-million losses due to Covid-19 but generated more than £5m this season from the sale of key assets Scott McKenna (£3m to Nottingham Forest), Sam Cosgrove (£2m to Birmingham City) and Scott Wright (£150,000 plus writing off the £350,000 owed to Rangers for Ross McCrorie).
Aberdeen have no strikers signed for next season – and goalscorers do not come cheap.
However if front-runner Glass does become the new Aberdeen manager he would take respected striking coach Allan Russell to Pittodrie.
Russell is currently the England national squad striking coach and earned praise for his work with the squad during the 2018 World Cup finals where England reached the semis.
Russell previously worked with Glass at Carolina Railhawks in the United States.
Loan strikers Florian Kamberi (St Gallen), Callum Hendry (St Johnstone) and Fraser Hornby (Stade de Reims) all go back to their parent clubs at the end of the season.
Striker Bruce Anderson, currently on loan at Hamilton, is out of contract at Pittodrie in the summer.
Tosh said: “I was at the football club when they went from Ebbe Skovdahl getting to spend a fortune to Steve Paterson getting to spend next to nothing.
“I hope that is not going to be a transition we are about to go through here.
“That they are going to pull the rug out from underneath the next manager’s feet because the squad needs to be better.
“One thing that could maybe be labelled at Derek’s door was there were too many easy options came back to the club.
“Too many players returning rather than new ones sought.”
Other names linked to the vacant Aberdeen position are Shaun Maloney, currently part of Belgium manager Roberto Martinez’s coaching team.
Former Coventry and Falkirk boss Steven Pressley is interested as is ex Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson.
Croatian coach Marijo Tot, who led Dinamo Zagreb to Croatian Cup glory, has also thrown his hat into the ring.
— EveningExpress Sport (@ee_sport) March 11, 2021
Former Don Derek Adams, currently Morecambe boss, has also been linked to the role.
Tosh insists if the Reds’ board have a target why not appoint him now so that he has the rest of the season to assess the squad.
He said: “If it is going to be Stephen Glass why not bring him in now instead of waiting.
“Aberdeen have a tie in with Atlanta and the American league has not started yet.
“They are as well bringing him in now so that he can work with Paul (Sheerin), Barry (Robson) and Neil (Simpson) until the end of the season and has a chance to look at the players.
“People will say Stephen knows Aberdeen but it is a far different football club from when he was there in the nineties.”
The eight year Pittodrie reign of McInnes came to an end on Monday following talks with Cormack in light of a dismal run of just 11 points from 39 in 2021.
A 0-0 stalemate with Hamilton was McInnes’s last game.
Aberdeen have scored just once in nine matches.
However Tosh felt McInnes deserved not just the rest of the season to try to salvage third spot but also at least the start of next season when fans, hopefully, can return.
He said: “I thought with this season in particular and all that has happened with Covid Derek could at least be allowed to see the season out.
“I felt a change was potentially going to happen but I thought he would get the start of next season when crowds were back in the football grounds.
“If it wasn’t going well then so be it – then make the change then.
“But you have to remember this season Derek has had his number one centre-half (McKenna), number one centre-forward (Cosgrove) and in the last six months his most creative player (Wright) dragged from beneath him.
“Three players have left that, lets be honest, they have not replaced.
“That didn’t make it any easier for Derek, especially when you look at Hibs.
“They were adding players at Easter Road instead of losing. Since then they have come up the rails and are now in pole position for third.”
Tosh admits that this season represents a missed opportunity in light of the unexpected collapse of defending Premiership champions Celtic.
However last summer before the season began he expects the remit would have been to deliver third and a cup run – both can still be achieved.
He said: “Aberdeen have underachieved this season due to the way Celtic have been playing this season if Aberdeen had produced their A, or even B+ game, they could have been pushing for second.
“But surely that was not the remit at the start of the season.
“I thought Aberdeen’s remit would have been third and going for cups.”
There will be a new era at Pittodrie when the board appoint a successor to McInnes.
Tosh, 47, insists McInnes’s legacy should be remembered after ending a near two decade trophy drought and delivering European qualification for seven successive seasons.
He said: “I hope Derek and Tony Docherty are remembered fondly for all the great they have done at the club and not just remembered for the last few months.
“All our lives have been difficult in the last year due to Covid, including footballers and managers.
“Yes footballers go out to train and play but under completely difficult circumstances.
“People maybe think the world of football players has been the same as they have just been able to carry on.
“I was at the Aberdeen game against Hibs and have played in training games- that is what it was like.
“There was no atmosphere and it is hard to get yourself motivated.
“I think the Aberdeen players have struggled with that.
“Unfortunately Derek paid the price for that.
“Has the football been good this season? No.
“However at the same time what was the club’s expectations?
“I would have thought it would have been to finish third and there is still the chance to do that.”