Stephen Glass on "surreal" Dave Cormack interview, unreported reasons for Aberdeen slide and “personal insult” from former teammate

No one can accuse Stephen Glass of existing in a bubble, even in these Covid-conscious times. He doesn’t normally listen to the radio but he made a point of listening in on Monday night as Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack defended his under-fire manager in a remarkable interview.

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass in the rain during Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Dundee at Dens Park. He has been given stiff backing by chairman Dave Cormack

Glass has also been made aware of newspaper articles analysing his current predicament. In one, former teammate Peter Hetherston made the point that there are drinkers down his local who are more ruthless than Glass, who he did also describe as “one of the nicest boys I’ve met”.

Hetherston doesn’t feel his old mate has what is required to pull Aberdeen out of their current slump. Glass himself was unmoved by this assessment of his 20-year-old self.

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When you’ve heard a stadium ringing with songs about being sacked in the morning, as happened on Saturday night at Dens Park, then the words of someone he last saw a quarter-of-a-century ago are not going to pack such a hefty punch.

Peter Hetherston (arms raised) celebrates an Aberdeen goal against Celtic in 1995 with teammates Eoin Jess (No. 8) and current Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass (11)

“It goes with the territory,” said Glass. “You lose games and you open yourself up to criticism.

"There is a personal insult in there from someone I’ve not spoken to for 25 years,” he added. “So he must be a hell of a good judge of character if he can judge me from distance, not having spoken to me for 25 years. That’s all I’ll say on that.”

He granted slightly more credence to an interview that Cormack, wisely or unwisely depending on your viewpoint, consented to give to BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound programme just 48 hours after Aberdeen had fallen to a fifth straight league defeat against Dundee.

However, Glass still believed it was unfair and underlined what he believed is a conspiracy against him and the club. He appreciated Cormack agreeing to go on to bat for him but claimed that the show’s tone and objectives were set from early on when they chose to run a reel of commentary of Aberdeen conceding recent goals. The manager claimed this was evidence of an agenda.

“It comes from an opportunity to kick a club when it is down, I think that is where it comes from,” Glass said. “I think any fair-minded person who switched on the radio, as I did having not listened to a radio show for years, and it gets introduced and you hear all the goals going in against you, and you hear the stats being read out, it is pretty clear what the agenda is there.

“Again, only we can change the results and only we can change people’s ability to question us like that.”

Glass was aware of the oddness of the scenario as he turned the dial to catch Cormack. It must have felt like eavesdropping on a conversation about yourself - which is what it was essentially.

"It was a bit surreal really," agreed Glass. "Listening to a radio show where basically the guys are trying to provoke the chairman by saying we think you should sack your manager. A little bit surreal. But you're Aberdeen manager, and you are not getting the results.. I know it goes with the territory and I accept it."

Still, Glass was cheered to hear such full-throttle backing for his project from the club owner after a testing few days and weeks.

He knows that while there might be no agenda within the Aberdeen support, some do still want him out. That was made abundantly clear to him during the second half at Dens Park.

"It wasn't nice but I'm well aware that when you don't get results...I played at the club long enough and saw managers suffer through it,” he said. "But it's not everyone. It's not the majority at the moment and to me, they are not the people who are going to be proved right.

“Personally, the support (from Cormack) was appreciated because a lot of people want something else. But I'm well aware that results are the be all and end all."

He is not shirking from the task and neither is he recoiling from the pressure as it builds again prior to Saturday’s home clash with Hibs. But there are some details to be belatedly acknowledged. Aberdeen have been operating without a Head of Performance Analysis for several months after Greig Thomson was forced to resign due to ill health. He has not been in situ since July. The club are currently advertising the job vacancy.

Another role, that of Head of Recruitment, has only recently been filled by Darren Mowbray after Russ Richardson moved to Liverpool during the summer.

Glass’s point is there has been a lot of upheaval in recent times at the club, off the pitch and on it, and not all of it desired. Nine league matches therefore does not seem a lot of evidence on which to judge the failure or otherwise of a new regime.

“Until probably a month ago, I might be wrong, we didn’t have a head of recruitment,” stressed Glass. “The previous manager (Derek McInnes) left, the head of recruitment left in the summer.“The recruitment was done by myself and the rest of the staff over the summer. Our analyst took sick right before the first European game. He was off work sick for two months and then handed in his notice.“Every piece of analysis work has been done by myself and the staff. We are pretty short-handed at the minute. But we decided not to put any of that out there because I don’t look for excuses.“That’s how much handle we’ve got on the club at the moment, but the structure will continue to get filled. I think people saw changes in certain positions almost as if the trigger was getting pulled left, right and centre. But some people have chosen to leave the club.”

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