Aberdeen captain Graeme Shinnie hailed the performance of his predecessor Ryan Jack during the club’s Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic at Hampden.
Shinnie described his team-mate’s performance as “brilliant” in the same week Jack was stripped off the armband amid rumours of an impending move to Rangers.
Celtic won the final 2-1 despite falling behind to an opener from Jonny Hayes. Stuart Armstrong levelled almost immediately before Tom Rogic won the game in stoppage time.
Though Celtic’s dominance in the final 30 minutes would tell in the end, Aberdeen were the better team for the opening hour, with Jack among several players in red putting in a star turn.
The decision to start Jack raised a few eyebrows. After taking the captaincy from the player, who was playing his last game for Aberdeen, it was expected that Derek McInnes would prefer Anthony O’Connor in the centre of the park.
The manager insisted in the days leading up to the game that the player’s loyalty should never be questioned by supporters, and Jack proved it with an impressive performance despite the defeat.
“We had a chat during the week,” said Shinnie of his team-mate.
“We’ve got a great relationship, and I thought he was brilliant on the day. He’s always given his all for the club. His loyalty have been brilliant, his performances have been different class and he’s shown that today, even though he had the captaincy taken away.
“I think that was just the situation that he was in. [The decision] was just to take the sting out of it, and he handled that perfectly.”