STEWART MILNE has insisted that the club have retained the services of “one of the best management teams in the UK” by keeping Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty at Pittodrie.
Following the surprise announcement on Thursday night that the management team had rejected the advances of Sunderland, the Aberdeen chairman spoke of his delight that the 45-year-old decided to reject The Stadium of Light in favour of staying at Pittodrie.
Speaking to BBC Scotland on Friday, Milne discussed the past 48 hours and Sunderland’s pursuit of their management team.
“I was fairly confident he would stay. He phoned yesterday morning and said he was absolutely committed to the club. It would have been a massive wrench for him to walk away. He sees Aberdeen Football Club as his.”
“I’ve built up a very close relationship with Derek over the last three or four years and we have been in constant dialogue over the past four or five days. I believed it was 50-50. He has always said how happy he is at Aberdeen.”
McInnes was suggested to earn triple the wages at Sunderland but despite this, it proved that he was committed to Pittodrie and affirming the club’s position in 2nd place. “He feels he gets the backing of the board, he has been very successful here, any move entails risk and he knows what he’s got here.”
The 45-year-old took over in 2013 from Craig Brown and led the club to their first trophy in 19 years after beating Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the 2014 League Cup final. This season, McInnes led the Dons to the Betfred Cup and Scottish Cup Finals – as well as finishing second comfortably above Rangers.
“Last year was probably the best season in the last three decades and he believes that he can better last year.”
“I’m absolutely delighted. I’ve always said we had one of the best management teams in the whole of the UK here.”
Milne and McInnes will learn their Europa League qualifier opponents on Monday before they return on Tuesday to prepare for their qualifiers and the season ahead.