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Caley Thistle interim boss Neil McCann only doing job for John Robertson

Caley Thistle interim boss Neil McCann.
Caley Thistle interim boss Neil McCann.

Neil McCann insists the only man he is doing the Caley Thistle job for is John Robertson.

With his close friend Robertson taking compassionate leave this week, McCann has been appointed interim manager at the Highland capital club.

When chief executive Scot Gardiner revealed the news earlier in the week, he stated Robertson and assistant manager Scott Kellacher – who is off long-term through illness – would remain at the club. Therefore, any stand-in appointment would not be auditioning for the role on a full-time basis.

McCann has been working as a pundit since his departure from Dundee in 2018 and has given no thought about a return to management permanently.

The only motivation he has at the time being is to ensure the team is in safe hands for Robertson’s return.

Caley Thistle manager John Robertson and first-team coach Barry Wilson during a Scottish Championship match against Ayr United.

He said: “I am not looking any further forward that what I am doing for John. If he comes to me in two weeks time and says he is ready to come back, I will leave and go back to doing what I was doing.

“I am not here to give myself opportunities or put down foundations, I am here to help the club and John and do it to the best of my ability. I know nothing other than trying to win and give 100 per cent. John knows that, Scot knows that and I hope it comes across to people.

“I want to be successful here, but I want to be successful for one guy and that’s John.”

McCann will work closely with first-team coach Barry Wilson and goalkeeping coach Ryan Esson, who took the team for the 2-2 draw with Alloa Athletic in midweek. He took his first training session on Wednesday ahead of the visit of Hearts tonight.

The former Jambos, Rangers and Southampton winger has great sympathy for Robertson, who has taken time off following a family bereavement.

McCann added: “I feel enormously sympathetic towards his situation. John is a proud, strong, wee man. His strength is in the fact he’s said: ‘look, I need to step back from this’. John has got my thoughts and hopefully we can give him that strength to help him get better.

“Like everybody who suffers something in their lives that makes them take a wee step back, it’s important they have a support network around them. I can say the support network he’s got here is exceptional and he’ll have all his old team-mates to gather round him and show him that support.

“He’s got mine and I’m hoping he’ll be ready sooner rather than later.”

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