This piece is an extract from yesterday's The Dandies newsletter, which is emailed out at 6pm every Tuesday.

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Credit where credit is due, on Saturday ahead of Aberdeen’s visit to Motherwell I asked for the players to prove me wrong. I had in recent days been quite scathing about their more recent performances. I believed it was time they took more responsibility and showed more fight and bravery. On Saturday against Stuart Kettlewell’s side, they did just that and I for one am more than happy to eat humble pie.

Interim manager Peter Leven got his tactics spot on; we played football instead of hoofball. He recognised immediately that we do not have “long-ball strikers” at the football club and that we have no choice but to try to open teams up by keeping the ball on the deck. What a difference it made on Saturday. One question I would like to ask though is why did Neil Warnock, with all his experience, not recognise this and fix it accordingly during his short-lived spell at the club? I tip my hat to Peter Leven.

As much as I was delighted and mightily relieved with our win and three points, I am not quite prepared to let the boys off the hook just yet – there is still much work to be done to guarantee our Scottish Premiership status, but Saturday’s performance has given me hope. For the first time since January 2 the Dons kept a clean sheet, the back line looked much more assured and despite the early loss of Nicky Devlin they were still able to see the game out without too much fuss. The lads now have to build on this going forward. We face three huge games after the international break starting with the proverbial six-pointer against Ross County at Pittodrie. What a game that will be! We then travel to bottom club Livingston before finishing off against Dundee at Pittodrie. All these games have to be navigated carefully before the league splits and the top six and bottom six wish each other a fond farewell for another season.

Mathematically we are still within reaching distance of a top-six finish. Without putting a dampener on things I think this may be a step too far, but you just never know in football. Usually, I am not a big fan of the international break but for once we as Aberdeen fans have something to look forward to during this period. If we are to believe the board our new manager will be in place before we face Ross County on March 30. At the time of writing (Monday morning) we continue to wait in earnest for an announcement to unveil the club's 26th full-time manager. The managerial wish list though appears to be diminishing day-by-day.

Last week Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill ruled himself out of the job, Elfsborg’s highly rated head coach Jimmy Thelin was quoted as saying there has been “no contact” from Aberdeen stating that “those responsible for the stories must be from Scotland”. Another name that came to my attention is Christian Titz, current manager of German second division side FC Magdeburg. Magdeburg are floundering in 12th position in the league so that link does not fill me with great hope or confidence. To be honest I hope it goes Titz up.

All we can do is continue to wait patiently for an announcement from the club. All I wish for is that whoever comes in, arrives in plenty of time to cast their eye over the playing squad and has time to work with the lads in training well ahead of the Ross County game. Somehow, I have a funny feeling that won’t happen but maybe, just maybe, the Football Monitoring Board will surprise me. Thanks for reading.