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Del has done so well to get close to a juggernaut.


DEREK McINNES has to be one of the unluckiest managers in recent Scottish football history in terms of timing.

If Celtic win the title at Pittodrie it will be just about typical for a spell where the Aberdeen manager hasn't had the rewards his work has deserved with the Hoops mainly responsible.

It's incredible that folk are discussing treble Trebles for Celtic as if they're deciding what to have for lunch. Or that some believe a failure for them to do the clean sweep this season would represent some sort of blunder or inability to hit their levels.

Three years ago there was barely a team that had done a Treble. Only Jock Stein and Martin O'Neill had won them in the club's 136 years before Brendan Rodgers.

Now it could be three in three years. That is the enormity of this achievement by a group of Celtic players that will go down in history as one of Scottish football's greatest in terms of unbroken success.

It is only when you consider these facts that you can see the great job McInnes has done at Pittodrie.

He has been the one to go toe to toe with them. Not just for one year but three or four - and on a fraction of the champions' budget.

It's like how many snooker world titles would Alex Higgins have won had Steve Davis not been on the scene at the same time? How many Grand Slams would Andy Murray have if he hadn't been playing in tennis' greatest era with Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic? McInnes has hit a brick wall by coming up against one of our game's most relentless juggernauts and that's hardly his fault.

Some Dons fans will point to missed chances - semi-final losses to Dundee United and St Johnstone. But that was early in his reign.

Motherwell in last season's Scottish Cup semi wasn't great but in general McInnes has shown he has improved as a manager. That's a key point as this is a crucial time for the club to try to keep him.

There is only so much he can do. McInnes has lost his best players year after year, then been forced to rebuild, but he has done it superbly.

Now it's going to happen with Graeme Shinnie and Gary Mackay-Steven leaving.

There's only so many times you can ask a man to keep producing miracles, yet you can't think of anyone who would have a better chance of doing it.

It's why the Dons must do everything to try to keep him, even if the SFA come calling.

With a new training facility and stadium coming, this is a key time in Aberdeen's history and there is no one better to do the job.

With McInnes at the helm the Dons have a real opportunity to make the most of their exciting new dawn.

Any fan who'd rather see the back of him should be very careful what they wish for.


He has lost best players year after year then been forced to rebuild

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 4, 2019
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