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New Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass eyeing on-field leader to drive club forward

Stephen Glass File Photo
(Image credit: Lynne Cameron)

New Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass stressed the importance of bringing an on-field leader to the club as he vowed to give Dons fans a team they would flock to watch.

The former Aberdeen player has been named as the replacement for Derek McInnes following a two-week recruitment process.

The 44-year-old is leaving his role as head coach of Atlanta United 2 but, with quarantine rules delaying his arrival, Paul Sheerin will remain in interim charge for the Scottish Cup third round.

Glass is reported to have lined up Celtic skipper Scott Brown, his former Hibernian team-mate, as his playing assistant, and he spoke about how crucial senior players will be.

“It’s hard to quantify how much that can help,” he said in an interview with the club’s RedTV. “If you get the right senior players at the club, they drive everything for you.

“They look after the mentality of the young ones, they drive the demands in training.

“On the pitch, if you have got a real leader you can notch things up a little bit.

“Senior players are really, really important and the young ones respond. Hopefully the ones that are there already will step up, I’m sure they will, and we will add the right types.”

The former Scotland and Newcastle midfielder, who made 131 appearances for Aberdeen and won the League Cup with the club in 1995, vowed to instil an attacking style and give fans a side to be proud of.

Amid chairman Dave Cormack’s demands to win trophies, get to the next stage in Europe and fill the stadium when possible, he said: “It’s something that takes time, it’s not instant, but I will change things as quickly as I can.

“I have no doubt that the people that come along will make this club a success, continue the success and really build a legacy at the club.”

Glass, who has watched every Aberdeen game this season on television, admitted he had struggled to sleep since McInnes left his post two weeks earlier.

“I wouldn’t come home for something I didn’t know I could make a success,” he added.

“I’m leaving behind the opportunity to work at the best club in the US. It had to be right and the club is right, the people I’m going to work for and with are right.

“There’s a great existing staff, great young players and potential for the team to do really, really well. I’m looking forward to putting my stamp on it along with the people that are there.

“The opportunity is enormous. The trust people are putting in me is big but I believe I will repay it. And the people I am hoping to get on board want to do the same thing.

“I’m hoping over the coming weeks fans are going to see a team they will want to come and watch next year.”

Glass will move from a club which has a strategic partnership with the Dons. Pittodrie chairman Dave Cormack is based in Atlanta and the Major League Soccer club’s president Darren Eales is also on the Aberdeen board.

Glass had a spell as interim manager of the Atlanta first team last year in between the departure of Frank De Boer and the arrival of Gabriel Heinze.

Cormack stated Aberdeen had interviewed a number of coaches but Glass was the “outstanding candidate”.

“He is a bright, young, emerging manager who has all the attributes we are looking for to take this club forward,” Cormack added in a statement.

“His winning mentality, having been mentored in the ‘Aberdeen Way’ from an early age by the likes of Teddy Scott, Alex Smith and Willie Miller, and desire to embrace the club’s strategy were key factors in our decision.”