FORMER Motherwell manager, Mark McGhee, has spoken of his ‘shock’ at being cut loose by the North Lanarkshire team in February.
Asked if he had been wrongly sacked in an interview with BBC Sport Scotland, the 59-year-old was adamant that he was the right man for the job.
McGhee said: “Of course I do. I left, as far as I’m concerned, prematurely.”
Saturday will see the Steelmen visit 10th-placed North Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton Accies in a crunch match to determine who’ll be headed for the play-off matches later this month.
McGhee said that he was “shocked and disappointed” when learning that his services had been terminated.
“At the time I left we had a couple of injuries, particularly to the back four.”
“We were still cobbling together a few results. Some of our performances prior to that Dundee game had been very good.
“I’d be comfortable to say I think I would have kept them up. I still think they should stay up. I think they have a squad strong enough to stay up.”
McGhee left the Steelmen in 10th position before his sacking, with Hamilton and Inverness CT below them. However, Accies lead the ‘Well in the table by a single goal with both locked on 32 points in the race to avoid the playoffs.
“They really shouldn’t go down but they’ve got a job on their hands. They know how I feel about that. I’m disappointed to have left but they know I’m fully behind them in terms of hoping they do stay up.”
McGhee has had two spells as manager at Motherwell from 2007-2009 and from 2015-2017. The current manager Steve Robinson was on McGhee’s staff at Fir Park and was promptly promoted when the 59-year-old left.
When asked if his sacking meant he still had plans in football the current Scotland assistant-manager emphasised that he’s still got plenty to offer.
“It certainly did not dull my appetite for working in football and for coaching,” he said.
“I’m open to offers. I’ve got a home here and a home in Brighton, so I can be in England or Scotland. I have a family and want to be close enough to them, but I want to work and work at a decent level.”
McGhee will be watching tonight as his former sides, Aberdeen and Celtic, clash in their Scottish Cup dress-rehearsal.
The former Celtic striker, who was 10 when Celtic won the European Cup in Lisbon, celebrates his 60th birthday on May 25th.