MacGregor confident he has made the right decision over manager

Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor told Jim '¨McIntyre he had to make a 'judgement call' after '¨sacking his manager.
Jim McIntyre was sacked by Ross County yesterday. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS GroupJim McIntyre was sacked by Ross County yesterday. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS Group
Jim McIntyre was sacked by Ross County yesterday. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS Group

McIntyre has departed the Dingwall club 18 months after leading them to their first piece of major silverware.

The 45-year-old was named Scotland’s manager of the year for the 2015-16 season after guiding the club to League Cup glory and their first 
top-six finish.

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County subsequently finished seventh in the Ladbrokes Premiership but four points from their opening seven league games this season proved insufficient to please MacGregor.

All five defeats have come against teams currently in the top six – Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen, Motherwell and Hibernian – and McIntyre apparently told MacGregor the decision was premature.

The County chairman told STV: “Listen, I understand it, Jim said that to me yesterday, and how could I justify it?

“It’s a judgement call. You try to weigh up everything that’s at your disposal and you make a call. If I felt we could have turned it around I wouldn’t have made that decision. We talked as a board and just felt maybe a change was what was needed.

“Although it’s early in the season it also gives the new manager time to form his own views on his playing squad, particularly with the international break the week after next. It gives him some time to work with his players.”

Assistant Billy Dodds has also been axed with youth academy director Steven Ferguson stepping up to become caretaker manager.

Former Dundee boss Paul Hartley, former Inverness manager John Hughes and under-20s coach Stuart Kettlewell – who led his side to the Development League title last season – might come into the board’s thoughts.

But MacGregor said: “I haven’t anyone in mind. I haven’t thought about it until now. I have to get down to business and see what the requirements of Ross County are at this point in time, and try to make sure the culture, values and desire of the new manager mirror what Ross County is about. It is something I will take my time on.”

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McIntyre took charge in September 2014 after Derek Adams was sacked five matches into the season with his team on zero points.

The former Dunfermline and Queen of the South boss won just two of his first 21 games in charge. But a January overhaul sparked a strong finish with ten victories from their final 14 games of the season eventually seeing them end the campaign in ninth. His first full campaign proved to be the most successful in the Dingwall side’s history as Alex Schalk’s last-minute winner handed them Hampden victory over Hibernian before they went on to claim a 
top-six finish.

McIntyre came under pressure at the start of last term as his side’s defence of their trophy ended in the group stage, but he bounced back to lead County to a respectable 
seventh-place finish. The loss of top scorer Liam Boyce to Burton Albion during the summer – following the exit of key player Jackson Irvine to the same club 12 months earlier – was a blow and his direct replacement, Billy McKay, only started his first game for the club on Saturday.

But a 1-0 home defeat by Hibs, which left County one point above bottom spot, proved the final straw for