KENNY BLACK has been encouraged by Stuart McCall to take his place at Motherwell on a permanent basis but the caretaker manager will wait until after tonight’s meeting with Dundee United before making a decision.
The 50-year-old has invariably been on the backroom staff since moving into coaching – including a spell at Leicester City with Craig Levein – although he did manage Airdrie between 2006 and 2010.
He said he will need a couple of days to decide if he will join the 40-plus applicants with Billy Stark, Billy McKinlay and Derek Adams among the favourites after McCall’s decision to quit last Sunday night.
He has also indicated he could be willing to work with a new manager should he decide not to apply but he also accepts that a new broom usually sweeps clean.
He said: “Stuart asked me if I would consider but I said then that it was too much to digest at once. I always thought it would be the two of us together either leaving or still being here. It feels as if my right hand has been cut off.
“I wanted to get this week out the way, deal with the game then have the weekend. I’m not putting a time on it because the club will have had loads of applicants.
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“There will probably be a lot of prospective applicants sitting in the stand tonight. Personally, I just want to make sure we get a positive result and after that I’ll be guided by what the club want me to do. If I do decide I would need to formally put my application or let the club know.
“I’m contracted until the end of the season and if the new manager said he wanted me to stay then I wouldn’t have any problems with that.
“However, very rarely do you get a new manager coming in without bringing in his own deputies and there are not many backroom positions at Motherwell.”
Black, who will have under-20s coach Jonatan Johansson beside him in the dug-out tonight, says he could see the signs that McCall was ready to go but he is still disappointed he went through with it.
Black said: “You could see it taking its toll. He looked far less bright and bubbly as he usually is. It’s not nice to see someone go like that because the results were hurting him.
“He’s normally a very positive person and you could see with his body language at times that the defeats were starting to hurt. He possibly took it too personally.
“We played Celtic youths in the cup last Sunday and he gestured me over after the game and I had a kind of idea what he was going to go through.
“I thought he might sleep on it and come in on the Monday and have a rethink. But he probably thought the bottom line is that we were losing games and took it to heart, thinking he was to blame. It’s a shame.”
Midfielder Iain Vigurs insists Motherwell will not go into freefall following the departure of McCall but accepts the dressing room played a huge part in the manager’s demise.
He said: “I think everyone is responsible for results and what’s happened. I don’t think it’s any single person.
“But, of course, the players accept we have not performed this season and we will hold our hands up for that. We have been unfortunate with injuries but you can only say that for so long.
“The performances were just not there the way they were last season.
“Even when we weren’t playing well last season we were grinding out results. But this season it just seems we have not been good enough. We have to hold our hands up.
“We need to step it up. We’re still here; it’s us who are second bottom so we need to pull ourselves up a bit. No-one else can do it.
“The new manager will come in and have his ideas but it’s up to the players to get us out of this.
“Facing United is a good game for us. They are the team in form so it takes a bit of the pressure off us, but we need points.”
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