Ross County first-team coach Stuart Taylor has left the Scottish Premiership club as speculation continues to link him with the manager’s vacancy at Hamilton.
Staggies boss Malky Mackay confirmed the 46-year-old ex-County and Accies midfielder had departed for “family circumstances” and that coincides with the Championship club seeking a replacement for Brian Rice, who recently quit.
Taylor, who was only recruited by Ross County this summer, is the bookies’ favourite for the job, but Mackay explained there is more to his Highland exit than the job at New Douglas Park.
He said: “Stuart has left us.
“Stuart and I had a conversation over the last couple of days where he came to see me.
“He’s not able to commit to us any longer because of family circumstances.
“I fully understand the situation there and it is something that we’ve been aware of for the last couple of weeks. I understand absolutely why he has had to leave us.”
Taylor was signed by former County boss Alex Smith in 2004, but only made 14 appearances for the club.
He was assistant to manager Billy Reid as Accies were promoted to the top-flight in 2008.
This summer he was brought in to be part of a new-look backroom team led by Mackay alongside his former County team-mate Don Cowie and Enda Barron.
However, there is now a strong suggestions he’s the man wanted by Accies and Mackay can see why.
He added: “For Stuart, to then be linked with the Hamilton job, I’ve got no surprise. He’s a top-class man and a great coach, with lots of experience in the game.
“He’s an ex-Hamilton player and coach as well, so with him leaving and that job being up for grabs, it is no surprise to me that he’s now a possible favourite for it.
“Maybe I’m biased, but I genuinely think he would be a terrific candidate for that job should they wish to interview him.
“He’s a terrific guy and someone I wish the very best to.
“He has been great with us and did great work with me over the last couple of months.
“I’m sad to see him go, as are the rest of the staff.”
There is no rush to full Taylor’s position, with Mackay insisting the right candidate will be recruited when the time is right.
Forging loan links with England
Meanwhile, the Staggies manager was delighted to land 21-year-old winger Joseph Hungbo on a season-long loan from his old club, Watford, in the English Premier League.
He said: “Joseph will bring pace and guile. We were definitely looking for a winger with those attributes.
“We had five or six plates spinning and that one came up – we have a really good relationship with Watford.
“It was one we felt, and they felt, was a great fit for us.
“In terms of relationships with clubs, clubs trusting other clubs with their players, it is about building yourself as an example of a club a parent club would want to send players to.
“We’ve got to be seen as that.
“Having contacts in England, and with the variety of players there are down there given the size of the country and size of squads and academies, we’ve got to be seen as being a good fit for a club.”