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Barry Robson has been given the chance to make the Aberdeen manager’s job his on a long-term basis after the club interviewed five other candidates for the role.

Robson received a double boost on Wednesday after being named manager of the month for March soon after being handed the reins until the end of the season.

The former Dundee United, Celtic and Aberdeen midfielder stepped up as caretaker boss following the sacking of Jim Goodwin in January and, after losing to St Mirren following an early red card for Ross McCrorie, he has guided the team to four wins in their last five cinch Premiership games.

The only setback since the opening defeat was at Celtic Park and the Scotland midfielder has been handed the job for the final nine games of the season as the fourth-placed Dons look to secure European football.

A club statement said Robson and his assistant Steve Agnew had agreed to continue in their posts “initially” until the end of the campaign.

Chairman Dave Cormack explained the circumstances behind the decision.

“The club embarked on a clear and patient process where director of football Steven Gunn led the vetting of all inbound applications as well as managing an outbound search, teaming up with an external agency, to unearth candidates that matched our criteria,” he said.

“Once the potential manager pool was down to six candidates, Steven and chief executive Alan Burrows, together with non-executive directors Willie Garner and Stewart Milne, conducted interviews.

“Three candidates, including Barry, met with this group in person for further, in-depth discussions over the last week.

“The board subsequently met to debate the outcomes of these interviews and discussions. It was unanimously agreed that Barry should continue in his role initially through to the end of the season.

“We believe that continuing the momentum, high standards and energy that Barry has instilled in the squad, with only nine league games to go, is critical to the club achieving its goal of European football next season.”

The decision gives clarity to Aberdeen ahead of Saturday’s trip to Perth to face St Johnstone. The Dons also face Kilmarnock, Ross County and Rangers before the split.

Robson had been working as Aberdeen’s development phase manager before his promotion but previously worked with the first team under Derek McInnes.

The 44-year-old said: “Both Steve and I are delighted and honoured to be asked by the board to continue in our current roles and to demonstrate our ability to lead the team in the longer term.

“We have had a tremendous reaction from the players, and they deserve a huge amount of credit for the way they have bought into the things we have asked them to do.

“I fully understand what our objectives are between now and the end of May, and I will work as hard as I possibly can, together with the excellent staff group at the club, to deliver on those expectations.”