Barry Robson won't be drawn on Aberdeen future despite big Rangers win and reveals exchange over ballboys
Goals from Liam Scales and Bojan Miovski put the Dons five points clear in third place in the cinch Premiership with five games to play going into the post-split fixtures, maintaining the gap on closest pursuers Hearts after their 6-1 win against Ross County 24 hours earlier. A packed Pittodrie once again sang Robson’s name as he strengthened his credentials to be given the job on a permanent basis. However, the 44-year-old stonewalled questions about whether he has done enough to land a longer stint in the hotseat.
"You know the answer, don't you?” Robson responded with a smile when asked about the chances of a permanent appointment. “We'll talk about that later. Let's not get carried away about me or 'are you going to get the job'. Let's put this about the players and the fans today. It's not about me. Put it on to them, talk about how good they've been, how much they ran and fought for the club. That's what I'd like all of you to talk about, not about me.”
Robson has certainly got this Aberdeen team playing. They are now warm favourites to claim the coveted third-place spot and the European riches likely to come with it. The Dons have kept five clean sheets in a row and are a transformed team from the one hurtling down the league under previous manager Jim Goodwin.
“That is the best I have heard Pittodrie in a long time,” Robson continued. “It was good to hear that again and the players responded. They gave everything they possibly could and that is all you can ask. I was really pleased with everything. I’m not sure how much the atmosphere affected both teams but I wanted us to be aggressive. I think you saw that although the first 20 minutes of the game wasn't easy. Our wing-backs couldn't get at them on the press. But, once we clicked and worked it out we started to get after them. There has been a lot of hard work and this is a big win and a big performance. The players need to go and enjoy that as they were very good.”
Robson did admit that it was a huge result in the context of the race for Europe. "I think so,” he said. “Hearts had a terrific result. It's not going to be easy. We'll probably have to go to Hearts, three away games we are looking at – as usual. Everybody is against us again, so what do we have to do? Fight back.”
Robson had a chuckle at referee Nick Walsh coming over to speak to the Aberdeen bench and the match commander late in the game to ask if the ballboys could speed up returning the ball to the field of play. “The referee for the first time in my 20, 30 years in football, it was the first time he's come over and say tell the ballboys to hurry up,” said Robson. “Thirty years? I didn't get that one. I've not heard that one before. I'm not falling out with the referee, I just found it quite funny.” Were they told to slow down? "Maybe – but it wasn't me!”
Robson also had warm words for Scales, who opened the scoring with a freak cross that deceived Rangers keeper Allan McGregor. "Great goal and he meant every part of it,” added Robson. “I'm going to say that to him because he deserves it – he was outstanding."