Goodwin was sacked moments after Saturday’s 6-0 defeat by Hibernian after being warned he needed an immediate response to the worst result in the club’s history days earlier. The Scottish Cup exit at Darvel followed a 5-0 defeat by Hearts and Hayes knows the team are in no position to argue with comments being made.
“We have to accept it unfortunately,” he said ahead of Wednesday’s visit of St Mirren. “I don’t like to see ex-players level things like that at myself and my team-mates. Their motive for saying that is up to themselves but we can’t defend performances and say we have been anywhere near good enough. I have seen a couple of comments about throwing the manager under the bus and whilst from the outside it maybe looks like that, that certainly wasn’t the case.
“Jim is obviously not here any more but the boys did look up to him and responded well to his training. Unfortunately we just didn’t respond on the pitch recently when it mattered. It was sad to see Jim and Lee (Sharp) go, but we can’t afford to dwell too much because we have another game coming up and we need to start making amends. Even winning won’t make amends, but we need to start that process of rebuilding the relationship between players and fans.”
Caretaker boss Barry Robson aims to help the shell-shocked players and had some simple advice. The former Celtic midfielder said: “I remember a great coach said to me once, ‘just run about on the pitch’. You can all laugh, but if you speak to any great manager and when you do that, it is amazing, things will start to turn for you. It is what the fans want. You can start winning second balls, all these basic little things.
“I’ve said that to them. We’re here to help them. We’re not here to ridicule or say ‘why did you do this?’ or ‘why is that?’ No, it’s not about that. You’ve got to try and help the players and it needs to come from within, from them as well. We’re here to try and help. We’re here to show what it takes to be an Aberdeen player and the things we expect to see from an Aberdeen player.”
Robson is not looking far into the future after being handed the role for a second time in 12 months. “They’ve asked me to come in and help the football club, which I’m always going to do,” he said. “I am an Aberdeen boy, I am an Aberdeen fan, I’ve been here a long time. I love the club. I know it inside out. We’ve got two huge games coming up. We have to try and get results in these next few games.
“I’ve got aspirations to be a manager one day and I will be a manager one day. I think that’s clear, I’ve said it before, we all know it. I’ve been working on different things as a coach and having loads of different experiences. People maybe think I’m sitting in the background doing nothing. There’s been loads and loads and loads of work going on in the background here for myself and for the football club. So that’s something that we can speak about in the future. Let’s just get through this next couple of days.”