Barry Robson: I’m an Aberdeen boy - I know what it takes to manage here

The Dons boss has come under fire from the supporters ahead of a crucial match against Dundee

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson is confident the fans will get behind him and his players if they seize the initiative against Dundee despite increasing criticism over their league campaign.

Robson was speaking exactly a year after being installed in the position, initially on an interim basis, and ahead of a crucial encounter against Dundee at Pittodrie on Tuesday night. The Dons sit eighth in the cinch Premiership, two points behind Dundee, and a place below where they were when Jim Goodwin was sacked a year ago. Robson led an impressive charge to third spot last season but defeat at Tynecastle on Saturday has left his side 19 points behind Hearts, albeit with three games in hand. Some fans called for Robson to leave at Tynecastle and a “Robson must go” banner appeared outside Pittodrie afterwards.

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“When you’re at a big football club, you have an expectation here,” Robson said. “I have been at this club for a long time, I have been a fan of this football club my whole life. I am from the area. If anyone understands, I understand. All I want to do is win football matches and get the fans home happy. We will go out there and try to win the game for the fans. And they will get behind us. We just need to get on the front foot, be positive and bring our talents to the game.

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson and his team take on Dundee on Tuesday.Aberdeen manager Barry Robson and his team take on Dundee on Tuesday.
Aberdeen manager Barry Robson and his team take on Dundee on Tuesday.

“If we get on the front foot and start the game well the fans will always back us here. The fans have been great with me since I’ve been here, they really have. The players, myself, the staff appreciate that. We need to give back to them and make sure we win games. I get their frustrations, I understand that. We just have to make sure we perform and win games for them.”

Robson refused to dwell on the banner and talk of potential protests at the stadium. “That’s not my focus,” the former Aberdeen midfielder said. “I can’t control that. I can control what’s in the building, our players and the staff. That’s all I try to control. There’s a good culture in here with the players. They work hard for each other, they want to do well, and I have no doubts they will keep doing that.”

Robson also led Aberdeen to the Viaplay Cup final and a European campaign which saw them beat Eintracht Frankfurt and get results against HJK Helsinki, PAOK and Swedish champions Hacken. However, the league form is putting him under serious pressure. Goodwin was sacked with Aberdeen sitting on 29 points from 23 games. The Dons now have 23 points from 20 matches. Reflecting on his year in the role, Robson said: “There’s been a lot of positives. The only frustration for us has been the position we are in the league. That’s what we are trying to address. But it’s been a privilege. I have loved every minute if it. I’m an Aberdeen fan, I’m an Aberdeen boy. I know what it takes to manage here and I know the expectation.”