Derek McInnes admits it is no surprise to see Rangers-bound Scott Wright facing a backlash from the Aberdeen support.
The Pittodrie winger has agreed a pre-contract agreement with the Light Blues and will join Steven Gerrard’s squad this summer.
Dons boss McInnes still has full faith that the 23-year-will give everything to the Reds cause as he runs down the final five months of his contract.
But a furious section of the Red Army have made their feelings known after seeing the academy product announce his intention to join their bitter Ibrox rivals.
Wright has faced a flood of social media abuse, while an offensive banner hung outside Pittodrie included the phrase “Red or Dead” and made reference to Wright’s squad number.
McInnes has not seen the sign but is well aware Wright’s planned move to Glasgow has not gone down with the Granite City faithful.
But he has no plans to leave him out while the Scotland Under-21 international continues to do a job for Aberdeen.
“I can’t be surprised by that,” he said after being asked about the online abuse. “I’m pretty sure Scott would have anticipated that as well.
“That’s something he has to deal with. I’m not surprised that a section of the supporters have voiced their feelings towards that as it is a tough one to take.
“I think it’s a tough one regardless of where Scott goes as we’ve brought him up through the academy. He’s made his decision and it’s Scott’s decision to make.
“But I can only judge what I see. I don’t see any downturn in Scott’s commitment or performances since he came back into the team.
“It’s up to me to decide if players are focused or not, no matter if they have got six months left or are committed to us long term.
“It’s fair to say I thought he was very good at the weekend along with the rest of his team-mates against Motherwell. It was a fully-committed performance and while he’s our player, why should we weaken our team?
“He’s a key player so why should we weaken our team unless we receive an offer that suits the club?”
So far, according to McInnes, there has been no further contact with Rangers despite Gerrard suggesting last week Gers would look to fast-track Wright’s switch to this month.
“Everyone needs to remember, he’s our player and like any player who works for the club – whether they have six months left or five years on their contract – it’s up to the club to decide if it’s an offer they will allow the player to move on,” he said.
“That’s still the case. We’ve had no correspondence from Rangers other than to notify us they had agreed a pre-contract. There’s been no further discussions at board-room level or between me and Stevie.”
But McInnes confirmed Aberdeen have been fielding calls of interest in Sam Cosgrove following reports Sheffield Wednesday had been priced out of a move for the striker.
He said: “I think there has been conversations had with one or two clubs – one club in particular – but there’s been no concrete offers in for any of our players.”
McInnes returns to Perth to face former club St Johnstone on Wednesday and knows the McDiarmid outfit will be on cloud nine after sealing a place in next month’s Betfred Cup final.
“I’m delighted for (St Johnstone boss) Callum Davidson,” he said. “To reach a cup final in his first full season in charge is a fantastic achievement.
“St Johnstone are a very capable side and they’ve shown that this season. It will be a tough game for us tomorrow night as I do think they will be flying high with confidence.
“There’s nothing better to get your players focused that having the motivation of cup final places so that will give them added impetus and good on them.”