Ally McCoist unlikely to return to ‘managerial madness’

Ally McCoist recalled the physical and emotional toll he suffered as Rangers' manager during a visit to Hampden yesterday. Picture: SNS.
Ally McCoist recalled the physical and emotional toll he suffered as Rangers' manager during a visit to Hampden yesterday. Picture: SNS.
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It was only in the summer Ally McCoist was reported to have been interested in the St Mirren vacancy. It seems it could be many summers before the 55-year-old is interested in another job in football.

The fact Alan Stubbs’ time in post was ended this week by the Paisley club after 77 days, making him the second Premiership managerial causality this season after Kenny Miller’s 71-day stint at Livingston, can be factored in to that.

McCoist can still shudder at the physical toll his time in charge of Rangers took on him. A period in which the club was liquidated and had to start again in the lowest senior league. The coaching culls he has witnessed in recent weeks have him seriously considering when he would ever see the wisdom of putting himself through the emotional wringer again.

His agent won’t be receiving a call about a possible opportunity at St Mirren, then. “I’d take it for a month,” McCoist joked yesterday. “They’ve offered me a month’s contract, so I’m going to speak to them about it... I mean, seriously, what’s going on?

“If ever there was a reason not to go back into management then it’s just given it to me. It’s my local club and I’m the only one who can get away with floating between Paisley and Morton.

“It’s just madness these days. It’s so difficult when you look at what’s happened to Stubbsie. What was it? Four league games. I don’t know, but it just seems to me there is a lack of realism in the expectation levels throughout clubs in general. Probably more down south than there is up here to be fair. But Kenny Miller got even less time and we’ve now lost two Premier managers with six league games between them. Sometimes you need to take a step back and ponder that.

“I am not closing the door, but I would be doubtful now. I would be surprised. I really enjoy what I’m doing, I really enjoy my weekends watching football. I watch the kids play football and the Saturday before last I was at four games. Then I ended up watching La Liga on telly. On the Sunday I’m the same and I really enjoy it.

“I really enjoy my BT Sport stuff, going to Fir Park or Kilmarnock watching Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen or whoever. So I am very comfortable and fortunate.

“I get that some guys are absolutely desperate to get back in, I understand that totally. They just need the drug or the finances and need to get back in. Okay, I get that.

“But if you are not going to a football club where your board will 100 per cent support you and help you then you have no chance. Or very little chance. I am very fortunate I am in a position where I really enjoy what I am doing and I don’t have to get back into management.”

McCoist cuts the bright and bushy-tailed, bubbly figure he famously always seemed until his three and a half years at the Ibrox helm. A crisis-fest – for which he was handsomely remunerated, it must be said – the stress and sleepless nights became ingrained.

“I remember my missus saying to me, ‘come here you, have a look at yourself in that mirror’,”McCoist said. “Normally I’m quite good at doing that and she’ll tell me I’ve been standing there half an hour... but in all seriousness, I looked at myself and thought, ‘Jesus, that’s not right’.

“That’s what happens in management. That must have happened just before I left Rangers and I thought, ‘that’s not right...’ It was definitely taking its toll on me. I wasn’t feeling great, I wasn’t sleeping at all.

“But that goes with the territory of being a football manager these days – particularly at the Old Firm I would have thought.

“At that time there was a combination of things. I was unlucky with the timing of the management job at the club. That would have had a big bearing on the way things were going. But I look at guys in the dug-out now and think, ‘I can see the pressure they are under’.

“Pressure does strange things to people. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have swapped anything. In many ways when the club was going through that period I was probably quite happy it was me, because I knew Rangers as well as anybody could have at that particular time. But I certainly don’t miss that feeling of not feeling well and not looking too clever. When I left, it was a wee bit of feeling as if somebody lifted a weight off my shoulders.”

l Ally McCoist was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is a proud sponsor of the Scotland National Team.