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Last Updated:  Monday, 17 March, 2003, 10:45 GMT
Paterson reveals drink problem
Aberdeen boss Steve Paterson
Paterson missed Saturday's match with Dundee
Aberdeen have given full backing to Steve Paterson after he revealed an alcohol problem.

And the 44-year-old manager admits he expected to be sacked when he missed his side's match with Dundee after a drinking binge.

Paterson, who joined the Dons from Inverness Caledonian Thistle in December, is to seek expert help for what's being described as an "alcohol management problem".

Dons chief executive Keith Wyness said at a media conference on Monday that given the correct counselling he believes there is no reason why Paterson cannot fulfill his duties at Pittodrie.

The club also appealed to fans to get behind the manager at a difficult time.

Wyness said: "We fully support Steve in his wish to sort out this situation as quickly as possible and will provide all the best professional help available to ensure that Steve is able to fulfil his undoubted potential.

We still believe he is the right man for the job
Aberdeen chief executive Keith Wyness
"We still believe he is the right man for the job."

A visibly distressed Paterson said: "I've had problems over the last few years that have maybe escalated.

"Occasionally I'll have a drink and I've had problems managing that - I suppose it's like binge-drinking.

"Usually it's brought on by some personal tragedy and it's an area I have to find a different way of coping with.

"I'm really ashamed and embarrassed - I've let everyone at Aberdeen down."

And Paterson confessed: "I expected to get the sack and I deserved it."

Paterson, who replaced the departing Ebbe Skovdahl in December, missed the 3-3 draw with Dundee on Saturday.

Initially Don's assistant boss Duncan Shearer had said that Paterson could not be in the dug-out at Pittodrie after suffering stomach cramps following the recent death of a close friend's son.

I'm really ashamed and embarrassed
Aberdeen manager Steve Paterson
But it emerged on Sunday that he missed the game because of an "alcohol-related problem."

Paterson continued: "This is the first time I've ever missed a match because of drink and I prefer to own up to the problem and take the professional help I need.

"I felt completely hopeless on Saturday afternoon. I did have stomach cramps, but the problem was drink-induced."

Chairman Stewart Milne and chief executive Keith Wyness summoned the former Manchester United defender to a meeting on Sunday morning to demand an explanation for his behaviour.

There he admitted that he had a drink problem and would, with the club's backing, seek professional help.

Paterson was regarded by supporters as the man to lead Aberdeen out of difficult times.

But now questions will be asked of chairman Milne over whether the manager's problem was known to him before he was given the job three months ago.





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Aberdeen boss Steve Paterson
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04 Mar 03  |  Aberdeen

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