New Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin revealed his plans to keep Scott Brown amid speculation that the Dons captain was in the frame to fill the managerial position vacated by the Irishman at St Mirren.
The 40-year-old’s move from the Buddies to Aberdeen on a two-and-a-half-year deal was confirmed on Saturday morning and his tenure began with a 1-1 cinch Premiership draw against Motherwell at Fir Park.
Brown, who was brought to Aberdeen as player-coach by former boss Stephen Glass, missed the trip to Fir Park with an injury, where Vicente Besuijen’s first goal for the Pittodrie club was cancelled out by a Mark O’Hara strike in the second half.
Goodwin, who was “satisfied with the point, albeit not overly pleased because certainly Aberdeen expect to win and that is the bottom line”, said: “I had a brief conversation with Scott last night as club captain.
“I said I am looking forward to meeting him on Monday at the training centre and that’s where we are at.
“I know there’s speculation but I don’t know anything about it, I haven’t been told anything about it.
“Right now, I am planning on Scott being a player for me between now and the end of the season.
“His title is there as player-coach. I am very hands-on on the training pitch and I haven’t had time to look at the structure but I take the majority of sessions backed up by my assistant Lee Sharp.
“These are all conversations going forward but for now, Scott remains an Aberdeen player until somebody tells me different.”
Asked how big a wrench it had been to leave St Mirren, Goodwin added: “Everybody knows the affiliation I have for St Mirren and the love for the club.
“I’m not going to patronise the fans or the board. I’ve always been open and honest in one of my early interviews about the ambitions I have as a person.
“St Mirren were brilliant to me, I had eight years there as a player and manager, which is the longest I’ve served any club in my career.
“I leave with a heavy heart, there’s no doubt. It wasn’t straightforward, the timing could have been better.
“In an ideal world we finish the season with St Mirren and this opportunity comes up in the summer and it’s a lot easier but the job became available now.
“They wanted to speak to me, they offered me the job and for me – at this stage of my managerial career – it’s too big an opportunity to turn down.
“I’m sure, most people understand the rationale in my decision-making. Of course, I’d never want to unsettle St Mirren, but that’s the industry we’re in.”
With Motherwell manager Graham Alexander in the stand serving the first of a two-game ban, assistant manager Chris Lucketti was in charge and he was far from happy that referee Nick Walsh took no action when Dons midfielder Jonny Hayes tackled O’Hara just before the interval.
Lucketti, who claimed the hosts had “enough chances to win two or three games there but just needed a bit more of a cutting edge”, said: “I thought it was reckless.
“I didn’t think it was dealt with as it should be.
“From where I was stood, it looked really reckless and Mark has got a big gash on his knee and his shin from that tackle.
“It is always difficult for referees. They can miss things and it is easy for us to go back and review things on the laptop which we did and we certainly thought it should have been dealt with better than it was.”