Who is Peter Leven? Former Rangers player who will take charge of Aberdeen ahead of Celtic clash

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Leven has gained a wealth of experience as assistant manager including as Lee McCulloch's No.2 at Kilmarnock

Managerless Aberdeen are in the middle of a busy run of fixtures with Saturday's visit of Celtic followed by a trip to Glasgow to face Rangers - but who is the man tasked with improving their league position?

Following the Dons' decision to sack boss Barry Robson ad No.2 Steve Agnew just days after the pair marked their one-year anniversary in their respective roles, first-team coach Peter Leven has been placed in interim charge.

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The Reds sit eighth in the table, having endured a difficult first half of the season with just six wins from 21 Scottish Premiership matches. They also suffered League Cup final heartache against Rangers at Hampden Park in mid-December.

Peter Leven (centre) worked under Gary Locke and Lee McCulloch during a two-spell at Kilmarnock.Peter Leven (centre) worked under Gary Locke and Lee McCulloch during a two-spell at Kilmarnock.
Peter Leven (centre) worked under Gary Locke and Lee McCulloch during a two-spell at Kilmarnock. | SNS Group

Chairman Dave Cormack is now searching for the club's FIFTH permanent manager since 2021. In a lengthy statement, he stated that the committee had given Robson as long as they "possibly could" to turn around an "unacceptable" league campaign, while adding the managerial turnover at Pittodrie has been "exhausting".

It is now down to Leven to lead first-team training and the 40-year-old could find himself in the dugout for both games against the Glasgow giants. It remains to be seen how many of those upcoming games he will be in charge for before a longer-term solution is found.

What are Peter Leven coaching credentials?

Renfrew-born Leven has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience as an assistant manager, having worked in Scotland, Belarus and Russia where he has enjoyed plenty of success. A former Rangers youth player, he appeared on the first-team bench on four occasions as a 16-year-old before suffering a serious knee injury which which ruled him out for two years.

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Having been forced to hang up his boots at the age of 29 due to extensive injuries, Leven stepped into his first coaching role with Middlesbrough's academy in 2014. A two-year spell as assistant at Kilmarnock in the Scottish top-flight soon followed, where he worked alongside Gary Locke, Lee Clark and Lee McCulloch.

He left the Ayrshire side in October 2017 along with McCulloch and opted to head abroad the following April after accepting a role as head of youth academy at Belarusian club Dynamo Brest. He was promoted to first-team assistant boss within four months and was tasked with overseeing tactics and training by head coach Marcel Lička. He enjoyed two trophy-laden seasons with Brest including qualification for the UEFA Champions League, two Super Cups and their first ever Premier League title.

After leaving Belarus, he then followed Lička to second division Russian outfit FC Orenburg in March 2020, and in his first season helped them clinch promotion to the top-flight after winning the play-off final. Leven previously admitted he was always keen to step out of his comfort zone and sample new cultures. He believes that those experiences of working in different countries has improved his overall understanding of the game.

Speaking to RedTV, he said: "I always wanted to try different things and learn a new language. When I left Kilmarnock I thought 'I want to be involved in something different and think outside the box'. The opportunity to go to Belarus came through an agent, and I loved it. It was difficult being away from the family but I learned a lot, especially about myself. I enjoyed it because we won at both clubs I went to, so I am happy I went and done it. Learning the Russian language was very difficult but I stuck at it, so it was really good. People don't realise countries like Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan are of a decent quality and have good technical players."

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