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P&J: McGhee: Dons my toughest job


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McGhee: Dons my toughest job

Gothenburg Great Mark defiant as he admits to the hardest spell of his managerial career


By Paul Third


Published: 02/03/2010


Mark McGhee regards his attempt to halt Aberdeen’s slide down the table as the most difficult task of his managerial career.


The Dons manager knew he was taking on a major task when he agreed to succeed Jimmy Calderwood at Pittodrie last summer but the Gothenburg Great admits the magnitude of the job is far greater than he anticipated.


McGhee was in reflective mood yesterday, attempting to identify why his club has failed to win in eight matches and lost the last three games.


The warning signs were there as far back as July and his first competitive game, a 5-1 home defeat by Sigma Olomouc in the Europa League which heralded the beginning of a rollercoaster first season in charge.


He said: “This is the hardest spell of my managerial career. It started right from the first match against Sigma Olomouc. Even prior to that I knew we needed players.


“We couldn’t get the ones I wanted which became frustrating and we had the debacle in the Europa League.


“From that day on it’s not really got better for me regardless of the odd false dawn of beating Rangers and winning at Tannadice and Tynecastle.â€


That the Dons can be the only team to defeat Rangers in domestic competition, yet also lose to bottom club Falkirk twice and exit the Scottish Cup to First Division opposition highlights the wildly inconsistent highs and lows McGhee’s players are producing.


He admitted: “There have been positives along the way, but I don’t really feel that, in general, it has got any better.â€


Even in his darkest moments, McGhee has tried to remain positive with his players.


He admits it has been a difficult task, especially as confidence is quickly eroding from within the camp but he insists he will continue to place his faith in the current squad to stop the rot.


He has no choice.


He said: “I probably didn’t think it would be so bad but it has been a bit helter-skelter at times.


“We have to take it one step at a time until we break this slump we are in. There can still be a measure of success as there is a lot to play for.â€

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