Willie Miller issues Aberdeen advice in Stephen Glass replacement search as legend calls for ‘pragmatic and direct’ shift

Willie Miller believes Aberdeen need to go for an experienced boss after the failed experiment with Stephen Glass.

And the Dons legend insists it has to be substance over style when it comes to the next move for chairman Dave Cormack and his board.

Miller admits he was not shocked at the dismissal of Glass after the furious response of fans to the weekend loss at Motherwell.

After just 11 months in post, the former Pittodrie midfielder was axed having won only 14 of his 41 games at the helm.

Cormack took a chance on Glass delivering in his first job in Scotland with a remit to play attractive football and blood youngsters.

Miller says the sacking gives evidence it didn’t all work out and the ex-boss and iconic captain now feel it could be time to have flexibility.

Willie Miller replaced Alex Smith as Aberdeen manager
Willie Miller has offered some advice to his former club

Miller said: “I think it is maybe experience that is required now.

“I suppose the question then is can the chairman and the board actually work with a more experienced manager?

“Experienced managers bring a different challenge to a chairman and a board.

“If they are willing to embrace that, I’d think that’d be the route to go.

“You have got to give the manager a bit more latitude in when he brings youngsters in and also the style of play. I don’t think you can dictate it is open and attractive.

“Sometimes that doesn’t work and you need to be a bit more pragmatic and direct.

“It’s a short period of time for Stephen, just 11 months, he had a specific brief.

“To play attacking football and get youngsters into the team.

“In the search for a new manager, that’s going to be an interesting discussion if a new manager is going to take that on board or not.

“If it’s a more-experienced manager, you are going to have issues if you are trying to law down the style.

“A new manager will want to put his stamp and style on the field of play.

“You just have to watch what you wish for. Yes you want to play open and attractive. I think every coach wants to do that.

“But you need results and results come before style. I think the new manager, if he is an experienced one, will be looking at it with that type of thought in mind.

“It’s about results and the new manager needs to get them. That should be the top priority.”

Cormack put his faith in Glass having seen him work in the States, but it did not go to plan.

Miller, who feels St Mirren’s Jim Goodwin should be considered for the job, continued: “It came down to them believing that Stephen was the right man.

“An awful lot was made of the process and the appointment at the time.

“There is a responsibility on the chairman and board of directors. It hasn’t worked so there is a responsibility to go through the process again.

“I am disappointed for Stephen, but if you are manager of Aberdeen and you’re not getting results then the pressure will come on.

Stephen Glass has been axed as Aberdeen manager

“Not being in the top six is ​​not good enough. Fingers are going to be pointed and questions asked.

“There have been some good performances, there have been ordinary performances and recently there has been some poor performances, especially away from home against St Mirren and Livingston.

“When you go to these grounds you have to have mental strength and I don’t feel the team showed that mental strength that’s required.

“It just all culminated. Going out of the League Cup very early on to Raith Rovers was a big blow.

“Fans need something to hold onto, they need hope.

“When your league form is diminishing and you are sitting ninth you need a cup run to keep the fans’ optimism.

“When you go out early in the League Cup it’s disappointing, but when you go out early also in the Scottish Cup then that’s a major blow.”

Stephen Glass

Cormack was at Fir Park to see the fans react angrily to the Scottish Cup exit.

The chairman was starting to get flak and Miller says that only ends one way for a manager.

He told BBC Radio Scotland: “When the fans turn like that, directors and chairman tend to react.

“I believe in terms of the coaching he’s produced, it’s been of a high level.

“That’s all well and good. The most important thing isn’t whether you are a good coach.

“It’s whether you are a coach who can deliver results.

“Is 11 months enough time to give a rookie manager?

“At times, Stephen put up a good defense of how his teams had played in games, but it was always patchy.

“Listen, it was a bit of an experiment. The chairman did take the chance.

“He knew Stephen, he knew what he was capable of producing because he was over there talking to him and watching him work.

“I don’t know too much about Stephen’s career as a coach, but Dave Cormack obviously did, being so close to him in the States.

“Once you appoint him, you take that responsibility on board. When it doesn’t work out, you have to take that responsibility and admit that it didn’t work out.

“Plenty chairman and directors have been in the same position and you have to learn from what has happened.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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