Liam Fox's Aberdeen future addressed as Barry Robson explains what he wants from his coaches

Barry Robson has received most of the plaudits for Aberdeen’s rise to third place in the Premiership table but as he points out, he could not have done it without two trusty lieutenants by his side.
Aberdeen coach Liam Fox (right) and Steve Agnew (left) are a big part of Barry Robson's project at Pittodrie.Aberdeen coach Liam Fox (right) and Steve Agnew (left) are a big part of Barry Robson's project at Pittodrie.
Aberdeen coach Liam Fox (right) and Steve Agnew (left) are a big part of Barry Robson's project at Pittodrie.

The 44-year-old landed the Dons top job on a permanent basis on Monday and has signed a two-year deal. His experienced assistant manager Steve Agnew has done that same and the Englishman has been talked up by Robson and other people within Pittodrie. But then there is also Liam Fox, who just weeks after losing his job as Dundee United manager moved north to be part of the coaching staff. His future has yet to be resolved – Robson is confident this will happen – and explained how important the former midfielder is to set-up.

“We are still speaking about things," said Robson, whose promotion from the academy means leaves gaps beneath him. “We are jigging things around at the moment because I’ve stepped up. So we are moving things around but we will get to it because Liam has been brilliant since he came in. From the first minute he saw the way we want to work and has fallen into the groove immediately.”

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Fox has only been in the building for just over a month but Robson likes what he sees. “I didn’t know Liam before he came in, I’d seen him coach once,” the manager continued. “But I know everyone in the Scottish game so knew what he was like and I wanted to surround myself with people who had been managers. I want people who will challenge me, are good on the grass.

“I didn’t want a presentation coach, anyone can put a fantastic presentation on and move people about their their fingers on a screen. You can do all that and it looks amazing, but can you do it on the grass? That’s where coaching happens – do you have a good voice, do you know what you’re doing, do the players respect you? Will people listen to what you’re saying and you get them fine-tuned into what you want to achieve? That’s a coach, it’s not making a great Powerpoint presentation.

“It’s important for me to have the right people. I believe in what I’m doing but I want to be challenged. If I get someone in who is just going to agree and hasn’t been at the highest level themselves, how is that going to help me? I need it every day, Aggers challenges me every day and I challenge him back. In my opinion, getting the right people around you is leadership. The better coach or ex-manager I could get only benefits me – that’s why they are with me. In my eyes, that’s good leadership building that team."

On a seven-game winning run, Robson knows that will be put to the test at Ibrox on Sunday when Aberdeen face a Rangers team smarting from last weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Celtic. They will also want revenge for last month’s 2-0 defeat at Pittodrie “It’s going to be a really difficult game,” added Robson. I thought they performed really well against Celtic last weekend. It was a terrific game and they played well, so we know we will have to be eight, nine or tens to get a result down there.”