Aberdeen: Joe Harper calls for patience with Derek McInnes and club hierarchy

By Stefan Bienkowski BBC Sport Scotland
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes
Some fans are not happy with Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

Club legend Joe Harper thinks Aberdeen are on course to challenge the Old Firm and has called for patience with current manager Derek McInnes.

The Dons were knocked out of the Europa League and Scottish League Cup - and have won four out of 10 league games.

On Saturday, they suffered a bruising 4-0 home defeat by leaders Celtic.

"When you're building a new stadium and training ground, it's all about long-term goals," Harper, who works for Aberdeen on hospitality, said.

"The club is in transition. We are building something. We'll have a stadium in the next four years probably and everything will be a different scenario then and it will be onwards and upwards."

Former Scotland striker Harper says that, despite Aberdeen's ambitious long-term plans to improve their standing in Scottish football, they are not financially capable of challenging Celtic or their Glasgow rivals, Rangers.

"We might win a cup, but we're not going to win the league," he told BBC Scotland. "Motherwell and Kilmarnock aren't going to win the league. Hearts and Hibs aren't going to win the league. It's a two-horse race.

"Something has to be done about that and Aberdeen are going about it the right way. We own our own facilities now."

The fans are not happy

With their side already 4-0 down in a game that left own manager their own manager "embarrassed", a large number of Aberdeen fans had exited Pittodrie by half-time on Saturday, but Harper believes that McInnes remains the man to steer the team forward.

"The fans are not happy - it's as simple as that," he said. "We've had a lot of injuries. Derek has said that. We've had to put full-backs into midfield and vice versa.

"We got a good result against Motherwell last week and I thought maybe that had turned a wee bit, but Celtic are a good team.

"The players have got to take a lot of responsibility. They might be playing different positions, but that doesn't matter.

"You can't put all the blame on the manager or the board. You've got to weigh it up and say where are we? Look at their players. Look at the money Celtic and Rangers are spending. You're never going to beat that."

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