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 Friday, 29 November, 2002, 12:45 GMT
Skovdahl to quit Dons
Ebbe Skovdahl (left) shows his concern
Ebbe Skovdahl (left) has been concerned about results
Under-pressure manager Ebbe Skovdahl will leave Aberdeen by next summer, the Dane announced on Friday.

Skovdahl is willing to remain at Pittodrie until his contract expires at the end of the season but could depart sooner if the right successor is found.

Coventry City assistant Eric Black, Millwall boss Mark McGhee, former Ross County boss Neale Cooper, Inverness Caledonian Thistle boss Steve Paterson and Falkirk's Ian McCall are already being tipped as possible replacements.

A section of the support had gradually turned against Skovdahl and there were calls for him to be sacked following Saturday's defeat away to Partick Thistle.

The constraints facing us make it difficult for me to take the team further

Ebbe Skovdahl
A board meeting this week noted its own disappointment, but Dons chief executive Keith Wyness insisted that the decision to leave was the manager's own.

"We are truly disappointed that Ebbe has decided to go," said Wyness.

"Despite speculation and unfounded press reports to the contrary, the board gave Ebbe its full support.

"We were keen for him to build on the good nucleus he has formed in the squad.

"He has contributed immensely to the club over the past three-and-a-half years, particularly in developing one of the brightest crops of young players the club has seen in several years.

"We are extremely grateful that he has given us sufficient notice which will allow us the time to find a suitable replacement.

"The recruitment process will start immediately and Ebbe has assured us he will be flexible with his date of leaving if the right man is available before the season ends."

Aberdeen defender Phil McGuire in action against Livingston
Phil McGuire (left) this week backed Skovdahl
Skovdahl, who will help choose his successor, added: "I have enjoyed playing a role in the development of Aberdeen and this has not been an easy decision to make.

"However, I feel my time at Pittodrie has now come to an end.

"Whilst many good things have been achieved in the team over the last few years, there is still a long way to go and the constraints facing us, like other clubs in Scottish football at this time, make it difficult for me to take the team further."

Aberdeen have won just one of their last eight games, but the former Brondby boss had received the backing of his players, several young first-team members being keen enough to sign contract extensions.

The Dane arrived at Pittodrie in 1999 to take over from Paul Hegarty and only avoided a relegation play-off in their first season because of Falkirk's inadequate stadium.

He guided the club to two cup finals that same season - culminating in defeats by Celtic and Rangers - and helped them to fourth place in the league last season.

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 Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl
"My time at Pittodrie is at an end"
See also:

26 Nov 02 | Aberdeen
23 Nov 02 | Scot Prem
Links to more Aberdeen stories are at the foot of the page.


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