'Beleaguered board owe Leven a huge debt of gratitude'

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Despite assurances of an imminent managerial appointment during the international break from both the Dons' chairman and chief executive, it was Peter Leven who was to steer Aberdeen to a second league win in a row and ease fears of being dragged into a playoff battle.

Alan Burrows was forced to break cover earlier in the week to front up to the lack of activity on the search for a new manager, and you can't help but feel that the beleaguered board owe Leven a huge debt of gratitude. Gathering six points from the last two games has meant the fans' ire has been kept at a simmer.

Bojan Miovski's early opener, on paper, should've seen the Dons settle into this crucial encounter and put the Highlanders to the sword but County look an invigorated side under Don Cowie. They were more than deserving of their goal through Simon Murray and could probably count themselves unfortunate to go in at the break level.

On such a significant day, the fragility of this Aberdeen side's psyche was more than evident but Leven's double switch of Dante Polvara and Duk for Junior Hoilett and Connor Barron proved to be inspirational. Duk showed a glimpse of last season's form in the build-up to Jamie McGrath's winner and Polvara added some additional physicality and presence in the centre of the park.

This allowed Aberdeen to get a greater foothold in the game and it was enough to gather three much-needed points, especially with results across the country going the way of the men in red.

Make no mistake, this was far from a vintage performance but at this stage of the campaign wins are all that matters, and Leven has managed to gather in seven points from the 12 available to him so far.

There's a lot to be said about where the team may have been right now if the horrendous Neil Warnock experience had never happened.

If Aberdeen can escape West Lothian this Saturday coming with another three points - and with Ross County, Motherwell and St. Johnstone all coming up against in-form opponents this weekend - there's a strong chance the Red Army can rest easy and focus all attention on a Scottish Cup semi-final.

And maybe, just maybe, a new manager can take the reigns, safe in the knowledge his new charges will be playing Scottish Premiership football next season.

Gary can be found on the ABZ Football Podcast.