MARK McGhee has been confirmed as assistant coach to Scotland manager Gordon Strachan, just weeks after being sacked by the club who are bottom of
England’s League Two.
• Mark McGhee appointed as Scotland assistant manager
• Former Aberdeen and Motherwell manager will be no. 2 to Gordon Strachan
The appointment represents a dramatic change of fortunes for McGhee, who has had a difficult time at his last two clubs after making a bright start to his career as a manager. He was dismissed as Aberdeen manager in December 2010, and took over at Bristol Rovers at the start of last year.
Rovers finished mid-table in League Two last season, but have since slipped to 24th. McGhee was relieved of his duties after a 4-1 defeat at York City.
Capped four times by Scotland, McGhee has been friendly with Strachan since they played at Aberdeen together. He ended his playing days and started his managerial career at Reading, moving on to Wolves, Millwall and Brighton before returning to Scotland to take charge of Motherwell in 2007.
His success at Fir Park led to his being interviewed for the Scotland job at the end of that year, but he lost out to George Burley. He then moved to Aberdeen in the summer of 2009.
“I am immensely proud and honoured to be asked by Gordon to assist him as national coach,” McGhee said yesterday. “There are few more passionate Scots around than Gordon, and I am hugely excited by the challenge of taking our national team up the table in the Fifa World Cup qualifying group, and hopefully helping to lead us to the Euro Championships in France in 2016.
“Prior to Gordon’s appointment I had been scouting for Craig Levein, so I am aware that we have a very exciting squad of players to work with and I look forward to helping Gordon
realise his vision for the national team.”
Strachan also hopes to recruit a third member of his coaching team, and said on being appointed on Tuesday that he planned to find someone younger who was beginning to make a mark as a coach. He is confident that McGhee’s enthusiasm will have an impact on a squad who are currently bottom of their World Cup qualifying group. “Mark is not just a fantastic coach but a fantastic person,” Strachan said. “The enthusiasm he brings to the training ground will be a huge asset to me and to the squad.
“It is important that we start out in a positive frame of
mind and remind the players that international recognition, as well as being the greatest
honour of your career, is also something to savour and enjoy. I have known Mark long enough to know that he shares this
philosophy and I am delighted to have him on board.”
The first match for the pair will be Scotland’s friendly against Estonia next month back at their old club ground, Pittodrie.