Tony Docherty slams Aberdeen fans who abused Derek McInnes as he makes Celtic and Rangers claim
The Dons manager was subjected to chants of “Derek, Derek get tae f***” by what his assistant describes as a small minority who do not appreciate the excellent job McInnes has done for the club.
Docherty could barely contain his anger when he, rather than McInnes, fielded questions at the regular pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to face Rangers at Ibrox.
The one consolation for someone who has been by the manager’s side since their time together at St Johnstone was the backing received since from fans wishing to disassociate themselves from the comments.
Docherty’s clear message was that McInnes deserves to be valued more given the way he has revitalised the Pittodrie club’s reputation in seven years since inheriting a bottom-six side from Craig Brown.
He said:“I would have to say, on behalf of all the players, staff and everybody, I find it hugely disrespectful.
“I think we need to put into perspective that it was probably half-a-dozen supporters who made the chant or whatever. We have had loads of correspondence from fans saying they were embarrassed, that they didn’t want to be a part of that.
“The evidence is there in the sterling work that has been done over the past seven years. We have been to four cup finals, four semi-finals, we’ve won a cup, and this is all since Derek McInnes took over this football club. He’s got a 55 per cent win ratio, we have finished on more than 70 points four times – which nobody outwith the Old Firm has done.
“You compare us as a club to two other clubs in terms of having a similar budget to us, Hibs and Hearts – every year how much do we finish ahead of them? How many points are we ahead of them?
“That’s consistency and staying consistent no matter which players we lose. I could go on. So it’s hugely disrespectful that there’s a narrative there – and it’s coming from people who should know better. I’m angry. I know the manager and it’s something that’s galling to me, to be quite honest. I would use the words absurd and preposterous because this manager has done so well since he has come here.”
Docherty’s disbelief is also fuelled by the fact Aberdeen remain just four points behind Motherwell as they chase their objective of clinching European
football for a seventh successive season.
They are also still in the Scottish Cup, a trophy the club last won in 1990, and, in the past, McInnes has rejected offers to take over at Sunderland and Rangers and last year was in the running for the Scotland job.
“He has also shown a huge amount of loyalty to this football club, its fans, its staff,” added Docherty.
“He will never, ever shirk away from anything. There have been bumps in the road, of course there has, but that’s going to happen. He knows we need to be doing a little bit better just now but, with the situation and the way that narrative is, I think that loyalty has to be reciprocated.”