‘I would not rule anything out’ - Morten Wieghorst expresses interest in Dundee job
Morten Wieghorst would welcome an opportunity to speak about the vacant manager’s post with Dundee but is also currently considering options elsewhere.
The former Dens Park midfielder, who was inducted in the club’s hall of fame as recently as March, is currently out of work after leaving his post at Aalborg BK in November.
He would be a popular choice among Dundee fans as the club try to win promotion back to the Premiership at the first attempt. Wieghorst, 48, played for Dundee in the second tier in the mid-1990s and was capped by Denmark while the club were in the First Division prior to his joining Celtic in late 1995.
“First of all, I feel sorry for Jim McIntyre losing his job,” said Wieghorst when contacted by The Scotsman. “It is never a nice situation to be in as a coach. Secondly, I have always said that I am always open to go back to Scotland one day. Myself and my family had a wonderful time at Dundee and then Celtic. We were there for almost ten years and had great memories. The fans are passionate and knowledge about football. It is a great place to be because they love football.
“To be more concrete, there has been no contact [with Dundee],” he added. “I am not a coach who likes to hype himself in that context. Scotland is a great place to be when you are in football. Right now, in general, I am looking at my options as I would like to get going in time for the new season.
“There are one or two options in Denmark and one or two abroad. But you do not know until you sign a contract in this walk of life. Manager posts and other roles. I am weighing up my options at the moment. I would not rule anything out.”
Coincidentally, Wieghorst has been attending a refresher’s course on managerial sackings in Copenhagen this week as part of his Pro Licence coaching qualification.
The Danish FA require graduates to attend these sessions two or three times annually to ensure their qualification remains valid.
Dundee managing director John Nelms knows all about Wieghorst having presented him with his hall of fame trophy two months ago.
The Dane was brought to Scotland by then Dundee manager Simon Stainrod, who saw him star in a Champions League tie for Lyngby against Rangers in 1992. Wieghorst went on to play over 100 games for Dundee before being signed by then Celtic manager Tommy Burns.
He established himself as a key member of the side which won the league title in 1998 but was struck down by Guillane-Barre syndrome, which affects brain nerve endings, shortly afterwards. He battled back after a year out of the game to win his place back in the Danish international side.
He has coached in Britain before when assisting Michael Laudrup at Swansea during the Welsh club’s stint in the Premier League.
Wieghorst left his post as manager of the Danish Under-21 team to join Swansea, where he played a key role in Laudrup’s backroom team and helped Swansea win the Capital One Cup in 2013 – their first major trophy.
His last spell in management was with Aalborg but he left his post after a seven-match winless run late last year. He has the experience Dundee are looking for having also spent five years as manager at FC Nordsjaelland at the start of his coaching career.
Speaking at the hall of fame event in March, Wieghorst said Dundee would always be in his heart and he credited the club for igniting his international ambitions.
He attended the next day’s match against St Mirren in Paisley. Dundee lost 2-1, a result that set them firmly on a course towards relegation. Wieghorst stressed he would be prepared to coach in the second tier having taken over at AGF Aarhus in 2014 after the club had been relegated from the Danish Superliga.
“I actually took Aarhus back up after they got relegated after Swansea some years ago,” he said. “We got promotion. It is a similar situation because Aarhus in Danish terms are a big club, as Dundee are in Scottish football.
“I remember when I was a player there [at Dundee] and having to travel to different places to train – I am sure a lot of things have happened on the positive side on that front since then,” he said. “I know Dundee as a city, and the club have a passionate support. Of course, it is a disappointment to be relegated after five seasons in the top flight.
“I have not been in touch, I have to be perfectly honest. But I had a great time at Dundee and am open to look at options in general terms right now. I am keen to get started again after a spell out of the game.”
Dundee are inviting applicants for the manager’s post. Nelms said the club had been “inundated” with expressions of interest.
Wieghorst said he had never applied for a coaching job without being invited to do so first but added: “There is first time for everything”.