Mark McGhee looking to make up for previous failures

Mark McGhee wants to make up for his failures at Bristol and Aberdeen
Mark McGhee wants to make up for his failures at Bristol and Aberdeen
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MARK McGhee is looking to make up for the “failures” of Bristol Rovers and Aberdeen after assuming his new post as Scotland assistant manager.

The 55-year-old Glaswegian’s managerial experiences north and south of the border began in 1991 when he became boss of Reading but he was most recently manager at Rovers before being sacked last month with the English club second from bottom of npower League Two.

Aberdeen were second bottom of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League when his torrid spell at Pittodrie ended in December 2010.

McGhee was asked last week by Gordon Strachan to join him at Hampden after his former Aberdeen team mate was named as the new national boss.

Speaking at Hampden today, McGhee, interviewed for the top job in 2008 before George Burley was appointed, was honest about his recent record.

He said: “I see those two episodes (at Aberdeen and Bristol Rovers) as failures as well therefore, as far as I am concerned, I would imagine that people would be questioning my ability, my motivation to still be doing the job, all those things.

“So yes, I think I have questions to answer and I think I can only do that below the surface.

“I am not the manager, I am not there as the number one, all I can do is give Gordon as much support and make him the best manager I possibly can and hope that people see the job I’m doing and appreciate it.”

However, McGhee, who had spells as boss at Leicester, Wolves, Millwall, Brighton and Motherwell, saw no reason to justify his appointment and is looking at it as an opportunity to address his “unfulfilled” managerial ambitions.

“I have enjoyed Christmas at home and my intention was to be a football manager or coach,” he said.

“I am not going to sit here and go into what happened at Aberdeen and Bristol Rovers, but I feel I have a legitimate right to consider myself as a viable football manager.

“You only have to look at the nature of our business.

“I am not the only manager who has lost his job and got another job, that’s what happens.

“Anyone who looks closely at circumstances at situations in any football job, will know that there are more than one side to every argument.

“People get sacked and get jobs again.

“What you have to do is not be blase about that and expect that every time you get the sack you are going to get another job.

“I think you have to be determined and I feel very unfulfilled as a manager, regardless of the successes that I have had, and I have had a lot of successes.

“But I feel very unfulfilled as a manager.

“I imagined that I would spend my whole life managing in the Premier League and I haven’t so I still have things to do and getting an opportunity at this level is okay.”

McGhee, who will discover today his exact remit when he meets with Strachan, insists he had not given up on the idea of being involved in the Scotland management team even when he lost out when he was boss at Fir Park

“You never give up on anything,” he said. “I am only in the mid-50s, there are a lot of managers a lot older than me.

“I still have the time to recover and be a manager but here I am as number two and I have no issues with that whatsoever.

“I am thrilled, I couldn’t be more pleased with this opportunity and obviously because it is with Gordon, it makes it even more exciting.”

McGhee, like Strachan, is well aware that Scotland are bottom of their World Cup qualifying group with two points from four games and all but out of the running to reach Brazil.

However, he is hoping the new management team can start to enjoy the sort of good luck he believed escaped the previous manager, Craig Levein.

“I don’t care what anyone says - and I am not going to talk about myself at Bristol Rovers and Aberdeen not having any luck - but to be successful, managers need to get the rub of the green,” said the former Hamburg and Celtic striker.

“And I am not sure that Craig always got that.

“So we have to hope that we get that fair wind behind us and we go the right way in those ‘sliding door’ moments.”