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Sunday 19th May 2024:  kick-off 3pm

Scottish Premiership - Ross County v Aberdeen

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Eck: No surprise Mark is still Don


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http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/editor-s-picks/eck-no-surprise-mark-is-still-don-1.1069317

 

Alex McLeish was not surprised Mark McGhee refused to walk away from Aberdeen because he knows full well that defiance is deep-rooted in Sir Alex Ferguson’s class of 1983.

 

The manager of Birmingham City did admit, though, he was taken aback by the decision of Gordon Strachan – another of the side who won the European Cup-winners’ Cup by beating Real Madrid in Gothenburg 27 years ago – to cut ties with Middlesbrough.

 

McLeish, in Aberdeen to announce the staging of a dinner next year to commemorate one of Scotland’s greatest-ever teams, expressed his delight that McGhee was still at the helm of his old club and that the chairman, Stewart Milne, had backed him following a run of poor results.

 

“I was happy with the club’s decision,” he said. “It is a big challenge for Mark, just as it is for the rest of us, myself included. It is a test of character. I do not think any of the boys who played in that era under Sir Alex lack that character needed.”

 

While those two met at a League Managers’ Association meeting two weeks ago at Hampden, McLeish has not spoken to Strachan since he left Middlesbrough. However, he believes he must have been under immense pressure to leave the Championship club.

 

“It takes a lot for any of the boys of Sir Alex’s era to walk away so it must have been really hurting him,” McLeish said. “It’s extremes as a manager. When you win it is elation and when you lose you feel lower than a snake’s belly.”

 

 

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