Aberdeen legend Willie Miller is pleased the club has clarity after moving quickly to bring in a new manager.
Former Don Stephen Glass, who has been in charge of Atlanta United’s second team, has been appointed as new boss at Pittodrie little more than a fortnight after the dismissal of Derek McInnes.
Miller, who captained the Reds to three Premier Division titles, four Scottish Cups, three League Cups, the European Cup Winners’ Cup and European Super Cup during his playing days, believes it was important for chairman Dave Cormack to move quickly and get a plan in place for the future direction of Aberdeen.
The Pittodrie icon and Evening Express columnist said: “I’ve said since the job became available that I felt action was required sooner rather than later and I’m glad that’s the case.
“I think appointing Stephen now is preferable on a number of fronts.
“The club needs to know who is going to be in charge and the direction going forward.
“I understand there is a process to go through when appointing a manager, because I’ve been through that process myself, but it doesn’t have to take too long.
“History tells you appointing managers is not an exact science, but chairmen and directors make the decisions with the best intentions.
“I’m sure Stephen will get the support he needs. He is relatively inexperienced as a manager.
“But he knows the game in Scotland, he’s been around, he’s coached for a number of years and has taken charge of Atlanta on a temporary basis.
“Now he has been given the opportunity at Aberdeen to manage and I think everyone will wish him well in trying to achieve the goals set out for him by the board.”
Nine players – Ash Taylor, Niall McGinn, Shay Logan, Tommie Hoban, Mikey Devlin, Greg Leigh, Bruce Anderson, Ethan Ross and Miko Virtanen – are out of contract this summer.
Loans for Fraser Hornby, Callum Hendry, Florian Kamberi and Gary Woods also expire in the summer Miller says bringing in Glass now will give him time to make decisions about the current squad.
The 65-year-old added: “Initially it was suggested the interim management team (Paul Sheerin, Barry Robson and Neil Simpson) would be in charge for the rest of the season and I didn’t feel that was the way to go, because there is too much work to be done.
“From the players’ point of view it’s only fair on them to get a manager in as well, so they have the chance to impress the new manager or be told their future lies elsewhere.
“I felt that clarity was required for the players and the only way you could have that was by appointing a new manager.
“It gives him the opportunity to assess the squad and make decisions on the players and let them know if they have a future at the club.
“If that had been left to the summer, then even players he wanted to keep might have started looking elsewhere because of the uncertainty.
“Aberdeen now have certainty by appointing Stephen and he can get to work and make the big decisions ahead of next season.
“And there is also still the Scottish Cup to play for this season as well as five league games and that can’t be forgotten.
“I applaud the fact an appointment has been made now, I’ve advocated that previously and I’m glad to see it has happened.”
Targets for Glass’ reign are clear
Miller believes winning silverware, being the closest challengers to Rangers and Celtic in the Premiership and securing group stage European football will be key targets for Glass.
He said: “Time will tell if he can achieve the targets that have been set.
“I haven’t seen Stephen in action managing a team and he doesn’t have too much history as a coach or a manager.
“But he’ll come in with the intention of playing open and attractive football and to promote young players because that has already been stipulated by the club and by Dave Cormack.
“Those are two aspects Stephen will know about. Other targets will be trophies and in the league consistency and third spot is likely to be a target.
“They aren’t easy targets to achieve and Stephen will need time to try to achieve them.
“Callum Davidson has won a trophy in his first season at St Johnstone and Derek McInnes did it at Aberdeen, so it is possible.
“Putting trophies in the cabinet will be a target for Stephen along with consistency in the league and trying to secure group stage European football.
“The new Europa Conference League should give Scottish clubs like Aberdeen a better chance of playing group stage football.
“European football is always important in terms of revenue and prestige for the club and that will be another target.”
Glass is the first manager appointed by chairman Cormack and Miller says the Red Army are putting their faith in Pittodrie chief to get this appointment right.
Aberdeen’s record appearance holder, who played 797 times, said: “Stephen is the manager that the chairman sees Aberdeen going forward with and he will hope Stephen brings the football he is trying to lay down as part of Aberdeen’s DNA.
“It’s a big appointment and every time you make an appointment it’s a big decision.
⚽️🎙️ Stephen Glass confirmed as @AberdeenFC manager:
🔴 Glass' immediate priorities
🔴 Recruitment and player development strategy
🔴 Scott Brown on his way?
— EveningExpress Sport (@ee_sport) March 23, 2021
“But, on the back of letting Derek McInnes go and the consistency that Derek brought to Aberdeen, that throws a little bit more spotlight on this decision.
“But when you make an appointment you have to be positive, support the appointment and hope it works out.
“Hopefully Dave Cormack has made the right decision, he will know Stephen better than most and the fans are putting their trust in the knowledge of the chairman that this appointment will be the right one.”