Warnock shrugs off Lennon talk as he eyes Scottish Cup success with Dons

The veteran manager is aiming for a win over Kilmarnock this weekend.

Aberdeen manager Neil Warnock has shrugged off talk about his future – and Neil Lennon’s interest in the Dons job – insisting his full focus is on guiding his side to a cup win over Kilmarnock.

The Pittodrie side host Killie in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals on Saturday hoping to end a ten-game winless run and book a place in the last four.

Six of those matches without victory have come under Warnock, who was brought in on a short-term deal until the end of the season with hopes he could rescue a European place as well as deliver cup success.

Recent results, including a 2-1 defeat at St Mirren last weekend when Aberdeen were leading in the 95th minute, have increased speculation that Warnock may not last in the job until the end of the season.

Asked if a defeat to Kilmarnock would leave him or the board wondering if anything could be done to turn form around, Warnock dismissed the notion, for now.

He said: “I think it’s hypothetical that, really. I think you have got to ask me that if and when it happens.

“All I’m concentrating on is trying to be positive and to get a result against Kilmarnock on Saturday. I think that’s all you can do. You can’t get dragged into what ifs.”

Former Celtic and Hibernian boss Neil Lennon said earlier this week that he would be interested in becoming manager at Pittodrie, saying that “Timing is important” and “the Aberdeen job is something that I would be very much interested in, no question”.

When asked for his thoughts on Lennon’s comments, Warnock shrugged it off.

“Will Willie Miller be his assistant? ” he joked. “I don’t comment on things like that.

“If I wasn’t here, it wouldn’t bother me at all who is in, are you with me?

“That’s life and management, really. I’ve had a few jobs where I’ve known two months before I’ve left.

“At Middlesbrough I knew who was coming in. That’s not very nice but that’s football and you’ve just got to get on with it.”

Warnock stated on his arrival in Aberdeen that he aimed to win the Scottish Cup in his brief time in charge but he will have to engineer a big turn in form to achieve that aim.

Kilmarnock have won all three league games between the sides this season and Warnock says his players have to put last weekend’s disappointment behind them and enjoy the opportunity to take on an in-form side with a place at Hampden on the line.

“We know there is no point in feeling sorry for yourself,” he said. “I think you do that for 24 hours.

“We are in a great job. You have got to realise how lucky we are really in the modern day where so many people are out of work. We’ve got a great job.

“Yes, we’re not doing well at the minute, confidence is a bit low but one good result can turn that. So let’s get on with it. It’s a great opportunity for everybody.

“It’s almost like a breath of fresh air. There’s no league points at stake and everybody has been so desperately trying to get points on board.

“I think it’s just the type of game we need, against a really good side.

“Everybody needs a turning point, when you’re having a bad run like we’ve had.

“I thought that was going to be St Mirren if I’m honest, for 90-odd minutes, but you’ve just got to keep going.

“You do get kicked in the teeth at times in football, and you’ve just got to bounce back.”

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