Successor to Craig Brown, Derek McInnes and his assistant Tony Docherty quickly settled into Pittodrie at the tail end of the 2012-2013 season. Joining the Club at that stage gave the management team a great opportunity to assess the playing staff and prepare through the summer for the season ahead.
Building on the already improving squad established by his predecessor, McInnes' team went through a very positive pre-season and opened the League campaign with home and away wins. Through the season form was more up than down and the team managed to finish third in the League table, returning Aberdeen to European competition for the first time in five seasons. More importantly they enjoyed an exciting run in the League Cup competition culminating in the Club's first silverware success for 19 years. A second place in the Premier League was also secured.
Season 2015/16 saw more improvement, with the manager again demonstrating his ability to operate wisely in the transfer market, and in the Aberdeen performance in the Premiership, with a comfortable second place being achieved. This came despite a catalogue of injuries to players being suffered late in the season. As in the previous season, the Dons had an early start in Europe and had an outstanding away success against the much fancied HNK Rijeka before creating a record for the longest journey to a European tie in the next round against Kairat Almaty.
Building a track record of continuous improvement with the Dons and making them comfortably the nearest challengers to the fiscally dominant Celtic, the press frequently associated his name with any management jobs that came up elsewhere. In June 2017 Sunderland FC approached Aberdeen for permission to talk to our manager but he elected to remain at Pittodrie, clearly still relishing the prospects of strengthening this club further.
Quickly following up on this, the club negotiated a contract extension that would take Derek and his assistant, Tony Docherty, up to the summer of 2020 and giving him the potential to become one of Aberdeen's longest serving managers of the post-war period.
In November and December 2017, Glasgow Rangers ran a clumsily protracted campaign to recruit McInnes and Tony Docherty to manage their football operation, but on 7th December the manager confirmed that he preferred to remain at Pittodrie to pursue the objectives he had for the Dons.