Barry Robson has vowed that his Aberdeen team will be built on hard work after he was confirmed as the club’s new manager.
The former Scotland player had stepped up from coaching the club’s Under-19 team to act as interim manager following Jim Goodwin’s sacking, and led the team to victory in eight of his ten games in charge.
That led to the Pittodrie hierarchy appointing Robson to the post on a two-year deal, with experienced coach Steve Agnew also signing a deal to remain as assistant manager.
Meeting the media for the first time after being appointed as permanent boss, Robson said he planned to continue with a steady and straightforward approach and vowed fans would see a team prepared to put in hard work for success.
“What I want to do is just win football matches,” he said. “I know it sounds simple to say but it’s very hard to do. We need to do that.
“You’ll never hear me shouting from the rooftops when things are going well, or if things are not going so well.
“Balance is a huge word in football and you need to make sure you do that right through everything that you want to achieve, whether that is in recruitment, winning matches or whatever.
“We will be built on hard work. That’s the way I was as a player and am as a person and how I was brought up. When you do that, you’ve got a chance to do well.”
The team’s turnaround from defeat to Darvel, Hearts and a 6-0 thumping at Hibs to a side that has won sen consecutive matches has been remarkable and has lifted Aberdeen up to third in the table as the Premiership post-split fixtures begin.
Though in a strong position to be booking European group stage football for next season, Robson refused to look too far ahead.
“We’ve managed to build a good footballing structure in them for a good however many weeks and they’ve managed to carry that out on the pitch,” he said. “We’ve got to carry on and try and keep doing what we’re doing and winning football matches.
“It’s a huge five games for us, five cup finals and we understand that, all top six you’ve got to play and everyone needs to play everyone else. It’s going to be difficult. I’ve never said any different. It’s hard enough any game you play in this league, never mind being up against the top six.
“We need to go in fully focused, full throttle and try and win some football matches.”
Regardless of the outcome of the final fixtures, Robson is likely to oversee change in the playing squad over the summer, with the future of the club’s loan stars, and some of their own players, up in the air. He says he’s already been looking at recruitment and speaking to players about their future, with a clear idea about the characters he wants in his squad.
“It’s a good set-up in the background there and we’ve been on that for a while,” the new manager explained. “We’re looking forward to a summer where we can keep some players, get some news ones in and keep building. We can get some stability and balance, get what we need and we’ll manage to do that.
“We’re speaking privately to some players, we’ve got some on loan and some who are tied to other clubs. We need to respect that. We’re in conversations with a lot of different people so we need to make sure that stays private.
“We are very active. We would like to get business done early, but that’s not always possible.
“We’re forward thinking as a club and we would like to bring in the right people, the people who can handle playing for Aberdeen in the way we want to do things, which is built on hard work, desire and wanting to run for your club.
“I’ve always said that from the very start, and all the detail and technical ability comes after that. That’s the type of people we want at the club, it’s the type the fans want and that’s what we’re looking into.”
Robson’s immediate priority is this weekend’s match at Ibrox. Aberdeen finished the pre-split games with a 2-0 win over Rangers but the manager says Michael Beale’s side will be a formidable obstacle.
“It’s a real tough game coming now against Rangers,” he said. “They’re still a top team with a lot of speed and ability.
“They’ll move you about and take you around the pitch and we need to be at our very best to try and get a result down there.”