Young backs McGhee to improve Dons' fortunes

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The Independent Online

Aberdeen midfielder Derek Young is confident Mark McGhee will still be managing the Dons when they face Rangers this weekend. Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat to Inverness Caledonian Thistle heaped pressure on the under-fire Aberdeen manager, whose side have collected only four points from the last possible 30.

However, Young feels the Dons can get back to winning ways under McGhee. He said: "All the boys think he will be the manager for the Rangers game and hopefully he will be. There is a lot of speculation but the manager has been here a year and a half and the boys know what he is looking for. It is just a case of getting results on the park and hopefully everything will blow over."

The midfielder, who deputised as a makeshift right-back against the Caley Jags, feels the Dons – on the back of a club record 9-0 defeat to Celtic – put on a spirited display and were unlucky not to take anything from the game.

"There was a massive amount of pressure after the result at Celtic Park," he said. "It was going to be tough but I think we showed with the performance that we have a lot of fight and a lot of good players.

"However, it is a results-driven business and we never got the points that we set out for, which is frustrating after putting so much effort into the game."

Young urged his team-mates not to be intimidated when they return to Glasgow to face the other half of the Old Firm on Saturday. He added: "We are going to have to go down there believing that we can get a result. There is nowhere to hide. You can't hope somebody else is going to do it for you. Everybody that goes down to Ibrox has to give it their all and hopefully we will get the rub of the green this time. It is not nice to be in this situation and we need to get the finger out and sort it."

Inverness manager Terry Butcher was impressed with the commitment and effort shown by the Aberdeen players following their heavy defeat to Celtic. He said: "It was a difficult match for Mark but I thought Aberdeen played very well. You lose 9-0 at Celtic and you get hammered. I thought they applied themselves really well and showed a lot of bottle.

"They have Rangers on Saturday and if we are being honest, anything you get against the Old Firm is a bonus. If you look at the teams under the Old Firm anybody can beat anybody in this league. We have been lucky to be on a good run and Aberdeen can do the same. Once you do that the players get a lot more confidence and will become different players."

Inverness have now won four and drawn two of their six matches on the road this season and Butcher hopes his side can show such consistency at home. He joked: "We seem to have a belief when we are away from home, much more than when we are playing at home, so perhaps we are going to have to have our pre-match meal in Wick before our next home game so that it feels like an away match!"

McGhee said he was happy with how his players performed against Butcher's side and vowed to fight on. He said: "I was totally and utterly content with the attitude shown by the players. They can't accuse us of all that rubbish of having lost the dressing room after that. There is a lot more to come from this squad and I'm confident we can improve. Again we didn't get any breaks with Darren Mackie and Ryan Jack going off with injuries as well as the penalty that went against us which was soft. I'm disappointed with the result but onwards and upwards."

McGhee hit back at reports that his side had to beat Inverness in order to keep his job. He said: "Where did that talk come from? I will tell you who, it is the people who were cheering when we lost a last-minute goal at St Mirren, the people who sit in this room and ask me these types of questions. Those are the people putting that out there.

"Stewart Milne, Willie Miller and Duncan Fraser, the board, they are the people that make the decisions and I know what they are thinking. As far as I'm concerned we are in at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning for training and as long as I don't get a phone call I will be here to do that."

McGhee said that he was heartened by the backing he had received from the Aberdeen support. He added: "We were all holding our breath to see what the reaction from the fans would be like and I was getting told about this and that on websites and fanzines but from the moment I walked out onto the pitch until the end of the match when we have lost 2-1 all I heard was encouragement.

"As long as that is the case I'm still up for the job. I still believe we are going to get better and since I got here I said we would need three or four transfer windows to turn it around. I still see a positive future for this club."