Derek McInnes last night poured scorn on the suggestion he shrank from the challenge of managing Rangers.
A statement from the Ibrox club, after he opted to remain in charge at Pittodrie, made the thinly veiled suggestion that the Aberdeen boss was “not ready” to take the helm at Rangers.
The Ibrox club had approached the Dons for permission to speak to McInnes earlier in the week and were prepared to pay a compensation fee, believed to be in the region of £1million.
After his decision not to speak to them was announced on Thursday evening, McInnes last night steered Aberdeen back into second place in the Premiership with a 1-0 victory over Dundee secured by Scott McKenna’s goal .
Asked to comment on the statement, McInnes said: “Each to their own”.
He also referred to Sunderland’s interest in appointing him in June, adding: “When you have had a couple of clubs willing to pay the level of compensation for me in the last few months, it probably shows we are doing an alright job, and we are. I back myself. I back my team. Everybody has an opinion.”
McInnes added that there were “loads of reasons” for deciding to remain where he was, despite weeks of speculation linking him to Rangers, where he was aplayer between 1995 and 2000.
“The one thing that underpinned the whole decision was not wanting to tarnish relationships built and forged,” he explained. “I have huge respect for my players, my staff, the supporters and the chairman. I was not prepared to rip that up and tarnish a reputation developed here.
“Sometimes you feel that some things are really important. There are loads of reasons but that is the one that underpinned everything.”
The visiting fans sang McInnes’ name on a couple of occasions during last night’s match and unveiled a banner mocking the surprisingly loaded statement put out by Rangers on Thursday, and which had included the word “concomitant”. Their banner read: “Concomitant You Reds”.
McInnes stressed he and assistant Tony Docherty, who was involved in a spat with Dundee manager Neil McCann after the final whistle, want to concentrate on Aberdeen.
“It’s been a lot to consider,” he admitted. “But from an official approach going in and decision being made, it was less than 48 hours. All the speculation that went on beforehand is what dragged it out.
“When you get an opportunity to move on, it’s important you consider it all.
“It was good just to get back to the game tonight. It was clear even from the warm-up the supporters were eager to show their support for everyone, and especially the team. I’m delighted we have sent everyone connected with Aberdeen home with smiles.”