Derek McInnes ideal for Scotland after work at Aberdeen, says Mikey Devlin

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has been tipped for the Scotland job - by one of his own players. Picture: SNS Group
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has been tipped for the Scotland job - by one of his own players. Picture: SNS Group
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Aberdeen defender Mikey Devlin believes that his manager, Derek McInnes, would be the ideal man to succeed Alex McLeish in charge of the Scottish national team.

Devlin argues that McInnes’ man-management and organisational skills indicate that he should tick all of the boxes for the SFA board as they pore over the qualities of the 47-year-old and the other candidates on the shortlist.

With Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Cyprus and Belgium to come next month, a decision on the appointment is anticipated sooner rather than later and Devlin believes that McInnes deserves to be given the chance to lead his country.

“I’d be delighted for him if that happened,” he said. “I owe a lot to the gaffer, who brought me to Aberdeen from Hamilton even though I was injured at the time. I’ll be eternally grateful to him for giving me that opportunity.

“Obviously, I wouldn’t welcome losing him but if it happens that the SFA decide he’s the man for the job, then I’d be over the moon for him.”

Devlin believes that McInnes has proved his mettle by continually rebuilding the Dons despite the loss of key individuals to wealthier clubs.

“That can be difficult but it shows how well the gaffer has done in replacing crucial players who have left,” he said.

“His recruitment has been excellent and success for this club has been being at the top of the league and reaching cup finals, which we managed to do this season again.

“We have a great group of players who spend a lot of time together away from the club and, when we turn up for pre-season training, we’ll be confident that we can take on any challenges that come.

“Players come and go but you’ve always got to be ready to deal with that.”

Club captain Graeme Shinnie is the latest player to leave Pittodrie, having signed a three-year contract with Derby County, but Devlin insists there is no need to panic over the Scotland midfielder’s departure.

“It’s disappointing that Graeme is leaving but we have a ready-made replacement in Lewis Ferguson,” he said. “He’s played in almost every game and, for someone so young, is really impressive. At 19, he has the physique of a man, he conducts himself so well and he has everything you could want to play at the top level. I’m sure Fergie will be a massive part of what we want to achieve in future.

“I saw how good he was at Hamilton and I knew his temperament. As a young player breaking through, the manager has to know you’re capable of handling first-team football and Lewis looks like he was born to play at the top level and he thrives in the big games.

“This season he’s probably came up with our best moments for us; you think back to his goal against Burnley in the Europa League and then the one against Rangers in the Betfred Cup semi-final. Given his lack of experience in those type of matches, he has really stood up to be counted.”