A growing loss of confidence has been apparent in recent games and Sunday’s dismal showing was the worst of the season to date. We’ll never know what the performance might have been had Brown and Knox still been in charge but it is hard to believe that our reverse would have been so dramatic.
The loss of Jennings and the illness that forced the early withdrawal of Hateley was always going to cause problems for our limited squad but their absence can’t hide the fact that we had a serious off-day. Service to Blackman and Humphrey was poor, we were unable to prevent the opposition’s midfielders’ direct runs through the centre and the list could go on.
All this poses a real problem for the board. They must resist the temptation to make a hasty appointment in an attempt to stop the rot. It will be more important in the long term that they identify the right man rather than be rushed into a quick selection. If there is a doubt they should go for an interim solution (after all, the last temporary post was a success).
The interview given by Derek Weir before the game reinforced the skills set needed for the job. Experience of the lower leagues in England, a big list of contacts to enable a choice of loan signings and familiarity with the Scottish or English game are the guiding principles. Although he made it clear that the club hoped to make an announcement soon they need to be brave enough to hold of unless they are confident that we have the right person.
We can be thankful that the easy option of picking one from the recycled list of past SPL managers is not the track chosen by the board.
The latest name in the frame seems to fit the bill. Neil McDonald’s name will not be familiar to most followers of the Scottish game but the time he has served in the backrooms all over England has given the 45 year old Tynesider the type of experience which might lead to the next Jutkiewicz or Ruddy spending time at Fir Park. Allied to the best of Gordon Young’s local talent there might be a combination that can secure us for a few more years.