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Page last updated at 17:23 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Mark McGhee says Aberdeen players deserved flak


Players deserve criticism - McGhee

Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee says he has broken from the tradition of protecting his players from criticism after Tuesday's defeat by Raith Rovers.

The First Division side shocked the Scottish Premier League outfit 1-0 in the Scottish Cup replay at Pittodrie.

"Tuesday night was probably the first time where I came out saying there's nothing I can do to protect you," McGhee told BBC Scotland.

"You have set yourself up as well as you have set me up."

McGhee, who has already spoken out about the strong criticism received from the club's fans, insisted that he was not shirking his own responsibility in their cup exit.

I accept a large part of the responsibility because whatever I said to them did not work

Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee

"I've sat out there and taken the worst abuse that I have ever taken in my football career and I am 37 years this summer in the game," he said.

"I have taken it because I accepted my role in it - I prepared the team, I gave them the instructions and clearly, whatever I said, did not get through to them, so I must be culpable."

McGhee said that, throughout his career, he had made a policy of protecting and defending his players - until now.

"It is not a case of me blaming the players and not taking responsibility," he said.

"I was quite clear in my after-match comments that I take part of the responsibility."

McGhee believes that, had defenders Charlie Mulgrew and Zander Diamond not missed the game through illness, Aberdeen would have won the game.


"As far as the team I picked, it was the team that did brilliantly against Hearts and brilliantly against Celtic mostly," he added.

"I did not do anything different in training and I sent them out emphasising the importance of starting well and being aggressive.

"But they went out that night and let themselves down.

"I accept a large part of the responsibility because whatever I said to them did not work, but I could not have done anything more between the Celtic game and the Raith Rovers game."

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see also
Harper blasts Aberdeen 'bottlers'
17 Feb 10 |  Aberdeen
McGhee spat at after Dons defeat
16 Feb 10 |  Aberdeen
Aberdeen 0-1 Raith Rovers
16 Feb 10 |  Scottish Cups
'Scandalous spin' angered McGhee
13 Feb 10 |  Aberdeen

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