Warnock targets Scottish Cup success after taking over at Aberdeen

The veteran manager wants cup success and a strong league finish.

Neil Warnock has spoken of his excitement at the challenge he faces at Aberdeen and has targeted Scottish Cup success during his time at Pittodrie.

The veteran manager has been appointed as Barry Robson’s successor on a short-term contract that runs until the end of the season. The Dons will use that time to conduct a full review of the football department and put a long term plan in place.

With his time in charge expected to be just a few months, there is limited scope for success for Warnock. He is expected to improve the league standing from the current eight place and the team have a Scottish Cup fifth round tie at home to Bonnyrigg Rose to look forward to later this month.

Warnock’s success in his 44 years in management so far has been limited to promotions, with no major trophy wins and with Aberdeen four wins away from silverware, his ambition for his time in charge is clear.

“Finish as high as we can and win a cup,” he said when asked about targets at his first media conference. “I don’t think there’s anything else, is there?”

The Englishman acknowledged the position the team is in, having suffered inconsistent results over the season so far, but remains optimistic and plans to “have fun” in his time at Pittodrie.

“When I take over, there’s a reason, I never take over anything that’s flying or top of the league,” he said.

“It’s a club that has ambitions and all I can do is my best, I can’t guarantee anything. I want to pit my wits against the teams that we come up against in the rest of the season and there’s a lot to play for, league-wise and cup-wise.

“I would like to win a cup because I’ve never won a cup. I’ve got to semi-finals a couple of times and got done by referees but we’ll not go into that.

“It’s a good challenge. I used to call it ‘a bunch of nettles’ – it’s that type of thing here. I think Aberdeen is an ideal place for me.”

The 75-year-old revealed that Aberdeen chief executive Alan Burrows had previously tried to recruit him to take over at Motherwell, and that discussions with the Dons hierarchy had made this move an easy one to agree to, with managing in Scotland a long-held ambition.

“It’s been a long time,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to manage up here.

“I’ve got a place at Dunoon and my club is Greenock Morton. I’ve got bricks there with my family’s name on at Greenock and I’ve always enjoyed going to watch a game there.

“This came out of the blue. I just think when I spoke to Dave Cormack and Alan Burrows it just seemed like the right thing to do.

“It gives them time to look for the right manager to take the club forward. I said to them ‘Let’s have a little bit of fun between now and the end of the season’. I like to put smiles on people’s faces.

“It’s a big club and the type of fans that they’ve got, I relate to. If you look at the fans at like QPR or Crystal Palace, if I say ‘hostile’ I don’t mean that in a nasty way. It’s lovely to get fans behind the team.

“It’s a one-club city and a real good challenge. It’s not for the money – I’ve had some right good offers in the last six weeks.

“I would like to have a go in this league and with a club like this.”

Warnock will begin his time in charge with a tough challenge, tackling his team to face Rangers at Ibrox.

“I was going to start next week but the lure of taking over for a game like tomorrow night is too good, really,” he said.

And while he admits he has certain areas in the squad he would like to be able to improve, the experienced boss is looking forward to making the most of what he has, and of his time in charge.

“I can’t change the squad because the window is closed now,” he said. “It probably is a little bit light in some areas but I’m not going to worry about that.

“It’s just do what I can do with what we’ve got and try and enjoy it.”

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