Mark McGhee: I imagined that I would spend my whole life managing in the Premier League


Pic: Phil McCloy | Scotzine

The newly appointed Scotland assistant manager, Mark McGhee spoke at his unveiling today at Hampden of his “unfulfilled” dreams in management.

McGhee who was sacked at the end of last year by Bristol Rovers for a string of bad results, was Gordon Strachan’s first choice to be his assistant at Scotland, with the pair having a great working relationship together, going back to their days as players at Aberdeen.

He made it clear that he was happy to be second in charge and reiterated that Strachan will be the man calling the shots for Scotland, he said: “Well I think I will take all my cues from Gordon, you know Gordon’s the main man up front and I’ll respect that. I won’t be behaving in any way he wouldn’t want me too for the position that he wouldn’t expect.”

McGhee who guided Rovers to 13th position in League Two last season, made it clear that Strachan is the right man for the job. He continued: “The other thing about Gordon is he is a passionate Scotsman and he is very patriotic and I would like to think I’m the same, hence I do feel that moment in my career was the big moment of my career.”

As a player McGhee had successful spells at Aberdeen and Morton, as well as outside Scotland with Hamburg and Reading.

He added: “You know Gordon, I read somewhere that he was at the game where they tore down the goals and all that. I was there as well with my brother. At the time I was playing for Morton and training to be an architect, I went with all the guys in the office, you know, down to London for the game.

“We are both passionate supporters of the national team and therefore we bring that with us as well. Basically I know I’ll soon understand what Gordon wants from me and I’ll understand for instance in the dressing room or on the training ground when its right for me to have an opinion. Anybody that knows me will know, I don’t have a problem with that because Gordon will be the main voice. But I’ll do whatever I can to support.

“All I can do is try to prove myself. I’m a better manager, with every experience, bad in football. I consider myself a better manager and a better coach you know, not a worse one. But I believe I have a contribution to make, all I can do is give all the support I can to try and prove to people I’m worthy of the position.

“That’s football we all go up and down and up and down. I have being sacked more than I have left or being poached. I have had all those experiences and you know people that know me well enough know that I have some ability as a manager and as a coach and are prepared to give me chances. And mostly I have taken them.”

McGhee, who only received four caps for Scotland, stated that his greatest moment as a player was his goal against England, he said: “I think during my time as a player it was the highlight, it’s not rhetoric I have said it before I came here today. You know that I have always valued that goal. I think it’s partly because I didn’t have a huge international career.

“I didn’t play hundreds of games like some of these guys do, so to have only played four games but scored against England was for me, rich.

“That was hugely important to me to have done; given like a said I didn’t get a chance at a World Cup or a European Championship.”

McGhee spoke highly of Strachan as a person, he continued: “He is a very loyal person. He is a very honest person, he believes in old-fashioned values – good manners and family, you know so all of those things are solid characteristics for somebody who is going to be in a position as important and influential as manager of the national team.”

McGhee is still looking for full-time management with his position at Scotland only part-time.

“I have enjoyed Christmas at home and my intention was to be a football manager or coach,” he said. “I am not going to sit here and go into what happened at Aberdeen and Bristol Rovers, but I feel I have a legitimate right to consider myself as a viable football manager. You only have to look at the nature of our business. I am not the only manager who has lost his job and got another job, that’s what happens.

“Anyone who looks closely at circumstances at situations in any football job, will know that there are more than one side to every argument. People get sacked and get jobs again. What you have to do is not be blasé about that and expect that every time you get the sack you are going to get another job.

“I think you have to be determined and I feel very unfulfilled as a manager, regardless of the successes that I have had, and I have had a lot of successes. But I feel very unfulfilled as a manager.

“I imagined that I would spend my whole life managing in the Premier League and I haven’t so I still have things to do and getting an opportunity at this level is okay.”


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