Stephen McManus not ready to retire any time soon

Stephen McManus in action for Motherwell. Picture: SNS
Stephen McManus in action for Motherwell. Picture: SNS
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Stephen McManus wishes to make it known that reports of the death of his playing career have been greatly exaggerated.

Ideally, he’d announce it by helping Motherwell to their first victory over Celtic at Parkhead in seven seasons this afternoon.

The former Celtic and Scotland captain was a guest pundit for the BBC last weekend and was taken aback to discover that he is now at the stage of his career where his name is being linked with managerial vacancies.

Yet, while he is now old enough to be described as a veteran, the central defender has no intention of hanging up his boots.

McManus said: “I did Sportscene the other night and Jonathan Sutherland asked me if I was going to fling my hat in for the Queen of the South job… I nearly fell off my chair.

“First and foremost, you want to play for as long as you can. I just turned 32 and the good thing with not being blessed with pace during your career is that you aren’t going to lose it quickly.

“I want to play for as long as I possibly can, I want to play here for as long as I possibly can and I want to play at this level as long I possibly can.

“I don’t feel as if I am struggling in any way.

“I have been fortunate to have played at some good clubs with some good people and good managers. The coaching side is something which definitely interests me and I would love to get into it as soon as I stop playing. It was one of the reasons I came up here to try to put things in place for the future.”

McManus is currently learning from one of the best man-managers in the business and his admiration for Stuart McCall is boundless. He added: “The manager is the key to everything that this club has done. I don’t know how long he’ll stay here, I don’t know how much more he can do for the club but he and the board will know when that time comes.

“Until I came here, I didn’t think about the budget side of things or what the club has to deal with on a daily basis.

“We had one home game called off last season and, if the next one hadn’t gone ahead, then I can only wonder at what might have happened because the club was losing income.

“You wonder whether or not you’re going to get paid and you don’t know. When you’re at a club like Celtic that kind of thing never ever came into the equation.

“But you would never know what happens at a one of the smaller clubs until you join one so, when you see the budget our manager is working with and then see what he’s done, it’s 
nothing short of incredible.”