Ryan Jack insists Derek McInnes is still Aberdeen’s special one as far as the players are concerned after dismissing as “ridiculous” suggestions of ructions between the squad and their manager.
The Dons captain has been annoyed by rumours of infighting at Pittodrie in the wake of a run of six games without a win that has seen them crash out of the League Cup and turn a five-point advantage over Celtic at the top of the table into a seven-point deficit.
There have been a lot of rumours about players fighting and obviously ones about myself fighting the manager which is not the caseRyan Jack
Now, in the build up to this weekend’s visit from bottom club Dundee United, Jack has moved to dispel the notion that unrest behind the scenes has anything to do with their alarming slump in form.
The midfielder was particularly keen to rubbish rumours that he had personally been involved in a bust-up with McInnes. Jack said: “There have been a lot of rumours about players fighting and obviously ones about myself fighting the manager which is not the case.
“Everyone is 100 per cent behind each other. All the lads are 100 per cent together and 100 per cent behind the manager.
“As for the rumours, it’s just ridiculous, basically. People obviously have just made up their own ways of seeing why the team are not doing well. We are all together, we are all going to stick together, we are all going to work hard together to make sure we put this right.
“The standard of training has been excellent. The players are looking sharp and fit.
“Sometimes scenarios in games just haven’t gone right for us but I think we are just raring to go for Saturday.”
McInnes believes his players have simply been the victims of their own success in recent weeks after starting the Premiership campaign with eight straight wins for the first time in the club’s history. The Aberdeen manager is convinced his men have been unfairly criticised and pressurised because so many people across the country were hoping his team would give Celtic a serious challenge for the title.
That has left a general feeling of disappointment that goes wider than just the Pittodrie club’s supporters but McInnes is adamant they have nothing to reproach themselves about.
“We probably got off to a start this season that even I didn’t expect,” he said. “We maybe put too much pressure on ourselves to maintain that.
“In general, the Scottish league was maybe looking at Aberdeen to be the ones to give us a title fight. The way things have transpired with recent results people are thinking we won’t even have a title fight as Aberdeen can’t maintain it. The players maybe feel they have let everybody down – not just Aberdeen people. It is important they don’t think that. My players have not let anybody down.”