Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has admitted for the first time that the speculation surround his future may have affected his players in their two recent losses to Rangers.
The Dons manager was the long-time favourite to replace Pedro Caixinha at Ibrox but after talks with his chairman Stewart Milne he decided to stay at Aberdeen, who have won two games in a row since.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, McInnes admitted that his players may not have been focused on the games against Rangers.
When asked if the players were distracted during the matches against Rangers, he said: “It’s an easy thing to assume and you may well be right.
“I felt we were really convincing at Kilmarnock but we followed it up with two disappointing results against Rangers.
“When you don’t win games it’s easy to assume the focus is on something else, like the speculation.”
Aberdeen and Rangers are currently locked in a battle for second place in the Scottish Premiership, just five points behind league leaders Celtic – who do have a game in hand.
The Gers – who have named Graeme Murty caretaker manager until the end of the year – are in a good run of form, and picked up their fourth league win on the spin in the 2-1 victory over Hibs at Easter Road.
The Light Blues’ next league match is against St Johnstone at Ibrox, but the real test of how far the club has come under Graeme Murty will be on the 30th of December when they travel to Celtic Park.
In other Rangers news, Mark Allen has been criticised for not signing Louis Moult for the Gers