Next West Brom boss: Derek McInnes interested in Albion job

Derek McInnes is interested in becoming Albion’s next manager, the Express & Star understands.

Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes

And the Scotsman has received a glowing recommendation for the role from fellow club favourite Andy Johnson.

McInnes famously skippered the Baggies into the Premier League in 2002.

And since then he has gone on to impress as a manager, particularly north of the border in Scotland.

McInnes won promotion and the Scottish First Division title while in charge of St Johnstone.

But he enjoyed even greater success in the Scottish Premiership at Aberdeen.

In eight years at Pittodrie, McInnes guided the Dons to four second-place finishes - twice finishing above Rangers.

He also won the Scottish League Cup - Aberdeen’s first trophy win for 19-years.

And he took the Dons into Europe with McInnes leading his side into the third qualifying round for the Europa League before they were beaten by seeded Spanish giants Real Sociedad.

And Johnson – who played in midfield alongside McInnes in Albion’s promotion-winning side – believes his former teammate would be a great appointment as boss.

“For me, Derek McInnes ticks all the boxes,” he said.

“He is young but he knows all about the football club and understands the fan base.

“He is also passionate about Albion and has that desire to really make the club successful.

“He is very calm but he also has that fire in his belly. When we were playing together he would think nothing of coming in at half-time and saying exactly what needed to be said.

“He shakes things up. But he has also got excellent people skills. And I think we’ve got a lot of players who would really benefit from working with him.

“Karlan Grant and Grady Diangana, for example, were big signings for us and they should have a big role to play next year.

“But they are going to be rusty. They have hardly played for six months.

“Derek is the type of person who will help them get back to their best.

“I believe he would be a good manager and a great ambassador for the club.

“The way he comes across in interviews, he will lift everyone and bring everyone together.

“He is loyal. He rejected both Rangers and Sunderland while at Aberdeen.

“And he would never let the club be embarrassed. He does things the right way.”

Albion remain on the hunt for a new manager after David Wagner rejected the chance to join them in favour of a move to BSC Young Boys in Switzerland.

The Baggies also held talks with ex-Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder but a move for him was vetoed by owner Guochuan Lai.

McInnes has managed in the Championship before.

In 2011, he took over a Bristol City side cut adrift at the bottom of the Championship and led them to survival thanks to an eight-game unbeaten run.

But he was unable to build on that success and left the following season with the club again in the relegation zone - with McInnes going on to describe his time working at Bristol City as “very difficult.”

In Scotland, though, he guided Aberdeen into 11 cup semi-finals and five finals, whilst also building a reputation for developing players.

That success led to widespread praise – most notably from Manchester United icon Alex Ferguson who said he is happy to give McInnes a reference for any future job.

Speaking after McInnes left Aberdeen, the legendary boss said: “Derek is a top-class, experienced manager who still has the energy of youth.

“He is capable of taking on a big job.

“If I was asked for a reference for him, I would gladly supply it.”

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