Football: Aitken given vote of confidence

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The Independent Online
The Aberdeen manager Roy Aitken has been given a vote of confidence from the club's directors, even though his side have won only two league games in 27 and go into today's game at St Johnstone at the bottom of the Premier Division.

The executive vice chairman Stewart Milne yesterday insisted that Aitken's position was not under threat, but he was critical of the playing staff, accusing them of making basic errors. He said: "We can all see that individually the players have the required ability and technical skills.

"But satisfaction with attractive football turns into frustration when the team goes from dominating major parts of each game to missing good chances and committing basic errors.

"As Roy has said before, far too often we're suffering from avoidable basic defensive errors and failing to take advantage of the good opportunities we're creating.

"We need to achieve greater individual and collective responsibility on the field.We need to achieve much greater communication and support between the players on the field. We need to achieve full concentration on the part of all players for the entire game and every game.

"If we can do that, we will stop making the avoidable errors at the back and start taking more of the goal-making opportunities we have been creating."

Milne added: "Roy is not complacent and is fully aware that much still needs to be done to ensure we get the positive result I know our players are more than capable of providing.

"Roy and his team are addressing those areas. They need improving and the spirit and the team feeling among the players has improved significantly. That culminated this week in the team-building exercise Roy initiated by taking the players away from home.

"We're confident we will reap the rewards of this additional activity tomorrow and throughout the rest of this season.

"But everyone involved in the club, including the fans, must recognise the collective responsibility for our current and future league position.

"We know we have the attributes and the character required to turn things around here at Pittodrie. It's up to each and every one of us to ensure we do so to go on and achieve the success that we and the fans want and deserve."

Milne insists that at no time has the manager's future been discussed by the board.

Aitken, who has firmly refused to discuss his position this week, said: "It was a constructive meeting but all our weekly meetings are."

The St Johnstone manager Paul Sturrock, a former international colleague of Aitken's, is expecting a rough ride today.

"Aberdeen will be be up for this game and they'll have to get back on the rails sooner or later," he said.

"They've been playing better than people have given them credit for and they'll be very tough opposition.

"With the quality of individuals in the Aberdeen team you'd have to say that they're in a false position."

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