Aberdeen confirm Derek McInnes as new manager

Craig Brown will remain until the SPL split

Aberdeen have confirmed Derek McInnes as their next manager - but Craig Brown will be given the chance to get the club into the Clydesdale Bank Premier League top six before stepping down.

McInnes and Tony Docherty, his assistant at both St Johnstone and Bristol City, have signed contracts that tie them to Pittodrie until the summer of 2015 with the option of a rolling contract after that.

A club statement read: "Aberdeen Football Club can confirm Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty as their new football management team with the pair set to officially take charge following the SPL split in just under a fortnight's time."

Aberdeen revealed Brown, who was involved in the recruitment process ahead of his official appointment as non-executive director, would remain in charge of team affairs for the next two games along with assistant Archie Knox.

Ninth-placed Aberdeen, who are two points off the top six, host Hearts on Saturday before playing Dundee United at Tannadice in the final match before the split.

Chairman Stewart Milne said: "Craig and Archie also spoke with Derek to establish the most appropriate timing for a handover of duties and all agreed that bringing them in now would enable the incoming management team to have time to familiarise themselves with their new club, while Craig and Archie continue with their preparations over the next two games for a final push towards a top-six SPL position."

McInnes declared himself "absolutely thrilled" to be appointed and assured fans he could clearly see the ambition of the club having been presented with the board's vision of the future.

He added in the club statement: "First and foremost, we still have a chance to make the top six and while Tony and I do not officially take charge for a couple of weeks, there remains plenty for us to get on with in the interim.

"In tandem with trying to finish the current campaign in as high a league position as possible, I will also of course be assessing the squad with next season in mind.

"There is so much to do, so many opportunities and I'm really looking forward to get started."

After a run of one victory in 11 games in 2013, Brown announced on March 14 that he was retiring from management and would step aside immediately if the club found an instant successor.

Aberdeen reportedly had a move for Ross County manager Derek Adams rebuffed before agreeing a deal with McInnes.

Milne said: "From the moment Craig Brown announced his intention to step down, Derek and Tony were at the forefront of our thoughts alongside other potential candidates.

"Our board had a clear vision of the type of person we needed to drive change going forward and having reviewed and worked through all of the available options in detail, the consensus was very much that they ticked all of the right boxes for us.

"George Yule, Duncan Fraser and myself initially met with Derek last week, with the remainder of the board subsequently meeting him, and we were all hugely impressed with his assessment of the club, its potential, and what they believed was required to move it on from the strong platform that Craig and Archie have established over the past two or so years.

"We also felt that it was important to confirm the new team as soon as possible to allow them enough time to assess the playing squad prior to the start of next season, but it was equally important that we carried out a full review of all the potential managerial candidates to ensure we secured the correct people.

"To that end, there has been a great deal of hard work undertaken at the club over the past 10 days."

McInnes led St Johnstone to promotion in his first full season in management before establishing them as a comfortable Clydesdale Bank Premier League club.

But the 41-year-old lasted just 14 months at Bristol City, taking the npower Championship club to safety in his first season but paying the price for their continuing struggles.

The former Morton, Rangers, West Brom and Dundee United midfielder was sacked in January after a 4-0 defeat by Leicester sent City to the bottom of the table.

PA

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