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Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor let manager Malky Mackay go after no return for extra summer cash for first team

By Alasdair Fraser

Roy Macgregor. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Roy Macgregor. Picture: James Mackenzie.

ROY MacGregor felt it was time to act on Malky Mackay’s future when Ross County saw no obvious return for increased first team spending in the summer.

The Staggies chairman reluctantly concluded it was time for the former Cardiff City and Watford manager to go less than six months after the drama and joy of Premiership play-off survival against Partick Thistle.

Mackay, the former Scottish FA performance director, had achieved top six success despite a shaky start in his first season. He had also transformed club operations behind the scenes, raising professionalism through sports science, video analysis and a culture of best practise.

But the bottom line in the end was results – and they consistently evaded Mackay.

“It is pretty simple – it is just results,’ MacGregor said.

“From November 12 last year to November 12 this year, we only won seven games.

“I think we drew eight. On a year to year basis, we would have had 29 points.

That won’t keep us in this league. We took a bit of a reality check last season. We got out of jail. We decided to give a bit more money to the football side and we had hoped we might kick on and be in a better position.

“But we find ourselves kind of in the same position as we were a year ago.

“We’ve been a bit inconsistent and we haven’t quite found the formula. There’s a feeling from everyone at the club that we have underachieved. We have more talent than we are getting points for.

“It is as simple as that. We could have said ‘well, we’re not far off the pack there’. But we felt if we were going to make a change, it would be better done now to give the new manager 26 games. It was a particularly bad result at St Johnstone, a really poor performance, and everyone felt maybe this was the time.”

As is the norm in these circumstances, a whole host of names have already been in mentioned in connection with the vacancy, from Neil Lennon to Neil Warnock.

MacGregor, on Wednesday, was adamant the recruitment process would only start that evening with a board meeting.

He revealed that Mackay had declined an offer to pitch his departure as a mutual agreement, preferring to let it be known he had wanted to battle on in the job.

MacGregor, while open-minded on the type he wants as successor, spoke of bringing in a touch of the Sir Alex Ferguson mentality.

The chairman wants someone who will be a winner in the central belt and not accept the view that the Highland club are inferior at Premiership level. Mackay felt he was that man, but results got him in the end.

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