Aberdeen next manager: Six leading candidates to replace Jim Goodwin at Pittodrie

Aberdeen are on the hunt for a new manager following the sacking of Jim Goodwin.

The Irishman was relieved of his duties in the immediate aftermath of the 6-0 defeat to Hibs at Easter Road with the Dons confirming his departure within 20 minutes of the final whistle.

Goodwin had been granted a stay of execution following a shock 1-0 defeat to Darvel in the Scottish Cup fourth round – a result regarded by many as the worst in the club’s 120-year history – which came after a 5-0 defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle the previous week.

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Aberdeen collected just one victory in 10 matches since the return from the World Cup break leaving the Pittodrie side nine points adrift of third place in the Premiership, and nine points off the bottom.

Aberdeen are on the hunt for a new manager after sacking Jim Goodwin. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Aberdeen are on the hunt for a new manager after sacking Jim Goodwin. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Aberdeen are on the hunt for a new manager after sacking Jim Goodwin. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

A major contributer in Goodwin’s demise has been the Dons’ dismal away form under his watch with his side having managed just two league wins on the road all season with a goal difference of minus 24 from 12 matches.

With supporters demanding change, Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack has swung the axe and will now begin the search for a replacement less than a year after recruiting Goodwin from St Mirren following the decision to sack Stephen Glass.

With no obvious stand-out candidate, here are six potential frontrunners for the vacancy ...

Paul Lambert

The former Celtic and Borussia Dortmund midfielder was installed as the early favourite with the bookmakers before Goodwin had even left the building. Out of work since leaving Ipswich Town in 2021, the 53-year-old is vastly experienced with nine clubs on his CV since first taking charge of Livingston in 2005. He has spent the rest of his managerial career in England with his most successful spell coming at Norwich City where he won back-to-back promotions to reach the Premier League. He went on to have a three-year spell in charge of Aston Villa where his best EPL finish was 15th. His most recent appointments saw him suffer relegation with Stoke City and Ipswich.

Jack Ross

There was once a time when Ross was among the hottest managerial prospects in the country, however, his reputation has been damaged by three consecutive sackings from Sunderland, Hibs and Dundee United – the latter coming after just seven matches in charge. His success stories include taking St Mirren from the bottom of the Championship to the Premiership and guiding Hibs to a first third place finish in 16 years. But he also failed to win promotion with Sunderland, lost a number of big semi-finals with Hibs, and was abruptly shown the door at Tannadice after his side conceded 24 goals in five fixtures. Would Aberdeen be willing to take a chance on Ross coming good again?

Scott Brown

The former Dons assistant manager under Stephen Glass – although best known for his 14-year spell as all-conquering Celtic captain – is currently in charge of Fleetwood Town in England’s League One. He has found things difficult in his first managerial post, winning just six of his 27 league games in charge to sit 17th in the table. He did, however, lead the Cods into the FA Cup fourth round for the first time in their history after a shock 2-1 win over Championship side Queens Park Rangers earlier this month. While one of the most decorated players in the Scottish game, Brown is still a rookie in the dug-out so any move for the 37-year-old would be seen as a major gamble for the Dons. It is also unlikely he would be a popular appointment among the fans due to his association with the failed Glass regime.

David Martindale

An interesting one. Despite his status as one of the best performing managers in the Scottish Premiership by not only keeping Livingston out of relegation trouble but pushing for the top six, he is continually overlooked when bigger jobs become available. His previous jail time for drug trafficking offences undoubtedly counts against him but his clear remorse and efforts to rehabilitate are also redeeming factors, as well as his record in the dugout, which is mightily impressive given the limited resources at his disposal. Livingston’s style of football may not win many admirers but it is certainly effective. Would Aberdeen be the right fit?

Neil Lennon

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The former Celtic and Hibs boss is looking for his next job following his recent departure from Omonia Nicosia where he won the Cypriot Cup and qualified for the Europa League group stages against the odds. A serial winner from his time at Parkhead – lifting multiple honours across two spells as manager – he also enjoyed relative success in the Easter Road hotseat, winning the Scottish Championship title and guiding the club to fourth place in their first season back in the Premiership. However, his final season at Celtic, the failed 10-in-a-row bid, turned into a disaster and, despite the aforementioned success at Omonia, he was ultimately sacked due to poor league results. There are also questions marks over his temperament, but given his experience of the Scottish game, and of lifting trophies, Aberdeen could be tempted to give him the chance.

Owen Coyle

The 56-year-old is back in Scottish football with Queen’s Park after a spell coaching in India. He has led the Spiders to the top of the Championship table with the prospect of securing top flight football for the first time since 1958. He has enjoyed previous success in England, winning promotion to the Premier League with Burnley and claimed some famous wins over the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. His last managerial gig in Scotland was with Ross County, where he won just four of his 22 games in charge before resigning with the club bottom of the Premiership. His CV is a mixed bag of highs and lows, so the Dons hierarchy would have plenty to weigh up when considering a move for Coyle.



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