ABERDEEN manager Derek McInnes insists Niall McGinn is fully committed to the club as he dismissed criticism of the former Celtic player for watching his old club on Monday.
A photograph of McGinn alongside Celtic striker Anthony Stokes in the away end at Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park was published on the Twitter account of his agent, Gerry Carlile.
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McInnes defended McGinn for going to watch Celtic, who cut the gap of Scottish Premiership leaders Aberdeen to a point.And he rubbished claims that his actions amounted to a lack of commitment to the Pittodrie cause.
McInnes said: “I’m not aware of the furore, I don’t go on social media, but I do believe there has been plenty said about it.
“My take on it is – is it ideal that we are speaking about it? Of course not. But the only thing Niall is guilty of is a bit of naivety in where he was sitting, and nothing else.
“He goes on a day off to watch a game of football. I like to see my players go and watch games. I would rather they do that than sit in a pub on their day off. I have loads of players who go and watch former teams, but because it’s Celtic it’s maybe a bit more documented. His tickets were supposed to be in the main stand, but it’s how it is perceived and Niall knows that. You would have to ask the reason it came out on Twitter.
“His agent has shown a poor regard for Aberdeen. Whether he knowingly put it out there, I don’t know. I have tried to speak to him and he hasn’t taken my call, but I do think he put Niall in a difficult situation.
“Niall’s agent is a friend of his and someone he trusts and I think he has let Niall down.”
McInnes, whose side can restore their four-point lead at St Mirren Park tomorrow, added: “Listen, Niall McGinn is fully committed. He has just signed a new deal.
“Our supporters, the majority who know what they are talking about, know that Niall is fully committed. Anyone who has seen my team this year has seen a fully committed team and Niall has been a part of that.
“He is disappointed in his agent as well. Niall has been to several games, not just Celtic games, as players do. I don’t have a problem at all.
“Niall feels a bit let down by his agent but he has my support. And the majority of the Aberdeen support will see it for what it is. Nothing is going to derail us in our objectives for the season.”
Carlile responded by stressing his strong relationship with McInnes and Dons chief executive Duncan Fraser.
In a statement issued last night, Carlile said: “I have a strong relationship with Derek McInnes, Duncan Fraser and Aberdeen Football Club.
“I have sent a private correspondence to the manager outlining my position and now consider the matter closed.”
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