Goodwin says criticism of Aberdeen tactics fine but 'I'm the manager'

The Dons boss accepts fans' right to opinion after he took flak for a defensive set-up.

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin explains team’s defensive tactics against Celtic SNS Group

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin says he respects fans’ right to air frustrations about the team but says he’ll always make the decisions he thinks can earn points.

Goodwin drew the ire of some supporters after the team’s 1-0 defeat to Celtic on Saturday. Aberdeen set out to defend and frustrate the opposition and had little possession and virtually no attacking threat in the game.

Callum McGregor scored in the 87th minute, meaning Goodwin’s side didn’t even have a point for their efforts, while Dons fans made their feelings known, particularly on social media.

Goodwin said he wasn’t on Twitter or Facebook so hadn’t seen the majority of complaints but was aware of them. He feels the reaction was partly because Aberdeen have been in such strong attacking form at home up until that point but the manager said he had no complaints about people voicing their opinion.

“That’s absolutely fine,” Goodwin said. “The fans pay good money to come and support their team and if they’re not happy with what they’re seeing then they’re fully entitled to express that opinion.

“I’m lucky that I’m not on Twitter or Facebook or any social media so I haven’t read it.

“It doesn’t concern me, to be honest with you. I’m honest enough with my own assessment of my own performance as a manager. I don’t need to be reading what random folk I’ve never met before think about my approach to the game.”

The former St Mirren boss said that he still believed the approach was the right one when taking on the league leaders.

“We merely came up with a plan to take a draw from the game on Saturday,” Goodwin said. “We felt that setting up that way would give us the best chance of getting something from the game.

“Celtic had been beating teams by two, three and four goals and I think earlier in the season they put six by Hibs.

“We didn’t want, after five weeks of no competitive football, to go too high too early and be too open and expansive.

“After the game against Rangers at Ibrox we got great plaudits for having a go at Rangers and got beat 4-1. On Saturday we tried to be a little more defensive-minded and only lost the game to a very good strike from Callum McGregor. We could have nicked a draw and you get criticised.

“I respect everyone’s opinion but I’m the manager of this club and I’ll decide what way we’re going to play from one game to the next.”

Next up for Aberdeen is the visit of Rangers on Tuesday night and the manager said that a strong defensive performance would be needed again, though he hoped to cause the opposition problems.

“I think Rangers are a top team,” he said. “The group of players we’ll be facing tomorrow night is the same that we faced at Ibrox a few weeks back and gave us an extremely difficult game, especially in that second 45.

“So we’ll have to come up with a plan again to be defensively organised. Something that has been labelled at the players at times has been about defensively not being solid. I thought on Saturday the players were excellent.

“The most important thing for us is to try and get the balance right between being defensively organised and not leaving ourselves wide open but of course we need to offer more of an attacking threat tomorrow night.

“That’s something we’ve looked at and studied and hopefully we’ll be able to do that tomorrow.”