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Malky Mackay confident Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor is perfect figure to end his six-year absence from club football

Malky Mackay during his time in charge of Cardiff City.
Malky Mackay during his time in charge of Cardiff City.

Malky Mackay has had to be patient for a return to club management, but he is confident the wait will pay off under Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor.

Mackay has been handed the opportunity to lead the Staggies into a new era by MacGregor, less than 48 hours after the departure of previous manager John Hughes was confirmed.

Hughes steered County to Premiership safety last term, owing largely to a strong finish to the campaign which saw the Dingwall men take 10 points from their final five games.

Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor.

Shortly before Hughes’ departure, MacGregor spoke of his desire for County to make moves further up the table having finished 10th in the previous two seasons.

Mackay will now be handed that remit after ending a six-year absence from club football, during which he worked as the Scottish FA’s performance director.

After revealing he has turned down a job offer since leaving his SFA post in November, Mackay says his discussions with MacGregor and chief executive Steven Ferguson left him with no hesitation over returning to day-to-day management.

Mackay said: “Ross County and Roy MacGregor are a club and an individual that I’ve known for a number of years.

“More recently, through my role at the SFA with Project Brave. When the chairman asked to speak to me, the conversation that we had was really if I wanted to join the project.

“A project is exactly what it is. I had a long conversation with them on Tuesday concerning the future of Ross County and where the chairman sees the club going, and I was genuinely excited by that journey and the ability to be involved with that.

“I look at who I work for and by the end of Tuesday night, knowing the man that I have over the last number of years and the conversation we had most of the day, absolutely made the chairman a man I want to work for.

“I had an opportunity before over the last couple of years to do a couple of things, and for one reason or another they didn’t happen.

“I was always very impressed by the way Ross County did their business and were run.

“When you look under the bonnet and sit with the chairman and chief executive and they talk about their vision, that’s what really nailed it for me.”

Malky Mackay

Although he was far removed from the dugout during his spell with the SFA, Mackay feels the framework set out by MacGregor and Ferguson will allow him to draw upon experiences gained in that role, where he was tasked with developing young talent into future international players.

He added: “There is a plan that Steven Ferguson and Roy MacGregor have for the club going forward.

“There seems to be an urge and wish to bring best practice to the club in a lot of aspects.

“The chairman talked to me about marginal gains, something I am used to being involved in, with the high performance area of the Scottish FA and wanting to talk about going on a new journey here for the next few years. That is exciting.

“I’m sitting here and talking to an owner and chief executive, who are very clear and passionate about what they want, and they both want the same thing.

“That’s very important to myself, but for any manager going forward the clarity of purpose and vision going forward is something you want as a manager.

“You then say ‘can you achieve that with the object of the owner, versus the finances we’ve got and the auditing of the squad we have?’

“With what we are talking about, what we want is achievable over a period of time.”

Don Cowie.

Mackay previously managed Staggies first team coach Don Cowie at Watford, Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic, while former Staggies skipper Richie Brittain is assistant manager at present.

Mackay says decisions on his backroom team will be finalised in the coming days, adding: “It has been a particularly frenetic 24 hours, so we will look at that as there are players out of contract and there will be staffing issues as well.

“It’s something we will get to in the next few days.”

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