Defiant Mark McGhee on brink but digging heels in at Aberdeen

MARK McGHEE last night remained defiant that his tenure as Aberdeen manager can continue despite suffering his sixth defeat in seven SPL matches, leaving the Pittodrie club entrenched in the relegation zone.

• Mark McGhee cuts an angry figure after watching his team lose 2-1 at home to InvernessPicture: SNS

The 53-year-old's position at the club where he was revered as a player appears to be hanging by a thread this morning after his team were unable to bounce back in the manner desired of them after Saturday's calamitous club record 9-0 defeat against Celtic.

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In front of their lowest home attendance of the season, McGhee's men slipped to a 2-1 loss against an Inverness Caledonian Thistle side whose remarkable unbeaten away record now extends almost a full calendar year.

But last night the focus was firmly on McGhee and a match it was widely expected he had to win in order to save his job. Although there was no official comment from Aberdeen last night, the club's board is expected to consider McGhee's position over the next 24 hours.

He made it clear last night, however, that he has no intention of standing down. While admitting to having worries about his situation, he retains a firm belief he can effect a positive turnaround in the club's fortunes.

"I'm really concerned about my position," said McGhee. "Of course I should be. But I want to look at the facts closer than other people do. I'm still sitting here because the people who matter still understand it.

"Stewart Milne, Willie Miller and Duncan Fraser, the people running the club. I know what they were thinking before this game. As far as I'm concerned, we have training at 10am in the morning and unless I get a phone call before then, I'm happy to continue. I am as determined as ever to do well as Aberdeen manager.

"We need three or four transfer windows to change it. We need further work to develop our squad. As far as I'm concerned, it is still a job underway. I still see a way forward. It will get better."

McGhee viewed the manner of his team's display last night, which saw them fight back from the loss of a controversial penalty kick before Inverness captain Grant Munro netted a late winner, vindicated his belief that there were many mitigating factors for the crushing loss at Celtic Park.

"I tried hard not to talk about Saturday before this match," said a clearly impassioned McGhee. "I felt something had to happen in this match before I could comment. There was a lot of talk about white flags being run up, about our character and about throwing in the towel at Celtic Park. I was 100 per cent convinced that was not the case.

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"At times on Saturday, we were not good enough. At times, we showed our inexperience. We were down to ten men for a long spell. Celtic had a carnival day, they were flying and had the effect of Henrik Larsson being at the game. Everything conspired against us. But there were no white flags.

• Match report: Aberdeen 1 - 2 Inverness CT

"I couldn't say any of that until they proved it for me tonight and, despite losing the game, I feel they did that. I was content with the way the players went about their business tonight. Tonight justified my thinking about Saturday.

"There was a lot of garbage spoken about losing the dressing room. I was asked a stupid question about honourable resignation. That was ridiculous, given what I think about the nature of the performance."

McGhee also drew strength from the response to him of those supporters who did turn up last night in a crowd of just 5,917. "Everyone was holding their breath, waiting to see the reaction of the fans tonight," added McGhee. "From the moment I walked out until the moment I walked back to the dressing room after the game, all I got was encouragement. There was not one single voice of dissent. They were telling me to keep it going, not to let it get to me. As long as that is the case, I'm still up for this job.

"I believe we can improve but we are getting no breaks just now. I'm disappointed with the result, but onwards and upwards."