Craig Brown’s fond farewells at Pittodrie

Yesterday’s Aberdeen victory over Hearts was all about Craig Brown and his last home match as manager before he becomes a director.

He and Archie Knox have kept Aberdeen’s hopes alive in the face of serious financial problems, and their efforts have been appreciated by at all at Pittodrie as the fans’ ovation showed.

He said: “I am pleased that the folks went away happy today. We got the breaks and Jamie Langfield made a couple of good saves so it has ended very well for me with the home crowd. I am not an emotional guy but it was nice to walk down there – I’ve heard it the other way. But the fans have been very supportive of me.

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“I am leaving Derek McInnes [pictured inset] with the best signing of the season and I don’t need to tell you who that is [Niall McGinn], and I am sure Derek will make good signings – he just needs a couple and Aberdeen will be a top-notch team.”

Brown pointed out that injuries had hampered Aberdeen’s season but was keen to emphasise that both his side and Hearts were placing more reliance on under-21 players – Aberdeen had eight and Hearts had 11 in their squads yesterday. “That is the way forward for Scottish football,” he said.

Having seen some dubious decisions against his men, Brown said that, as director, he would recommend changing the location of the visiting support and the managerial dugout, as he felt the visiting fans and manager could influence decisions by the assistant referees. “[Jose] Mourinho did it at Chelsea, it’s not rocket science,” said Brown.

Hearts manager Gary Locke paid tribute to Brown: “He will be a big loss to the game in Scotland.”

Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds said of the departing manager: “He has a great relationship with the boys and we shall be sad to see him go. It is the end of a chapter, but we are looking forward to a new challenge.”