Malky Mackay met up with his ghosts of yesteryear after being appointed manager of Ross County.
The 49-year-old former Cardiff, Watford and Wigan boss, who stepped down as the Scottish Football Association’s performance director in November after four years in the post during which he was in interim charge of Scotland for a friendly game against Holland, replaces John Hughes who left on Monday despite steering the club to Scottish Premiership safety.
However, before Mackay’s appointment was confirmed on Wednesday morning, Kenny MacLennan, supporter liaison officer for County, had tweeted: “I represent the concerns and views of the supporters.
“Regarding the rumoured imminent appointment of a new manager, I have expressed the concerns of the supporters directly to the club.”
Mackay was investigated by the FA over a series of text messages exchanged between himself and his head of recruitment, Iain Moody, while he was Cardiff manager.
After the revelations in 2014, Mackay apologised for sending messages he admitted were “disrespectful of other cultures” although he was later cleared by the Football Association in July 2015.
Speaking to the media following his appointment on Wednesday, Mackay said: “That was something that was seven eight years ago now, well documented a variety of times, nothing to hide there in terms of the whole aspect of it and the interviews I went through for the next three, four years.
“Since then I have worked for another football club (Wigan), the Scottish FA and the governance of the game in Scotland for four years, been asked to be interim manager of the national team, and more recently UEFA and FIFA.
“I always try to attain to be better every day and I would hope that the people who genuinely know me and have come across me, especially in the last four years in Scottish football, make their own mind up as to who I am.
“What I can tell you is for the good of Ross County I will do everything in my power 24 hours a day to make sure the chairman and chief executive, and more importantly the fans and the community in the Highlands, are actually seeing someone wholly committed to their football club and who genuinely wants to make a difference here and help the club improve.”
Asked if he had a message for the County fans, the former Celtic, Norwich and Scotland defender said: “Hold on for the ride ahead.”
Mackay insists he has “unfinished business” as a manager and is excited that he has returned to the profession under Staggies chairman Roy MacGregor and chief executive Steven Ferguson.
He said: “There is a plan that Steven Ferguson and Roy MacGregor have for the club going forward.
“There seems to be an urge and wish to bring best practice to the club in a lot of aspects.
“The chairman talked to me about marginal gains, something I am used to being involved in, with the high performance area of the Scottish FA, and wanted to talk about going on a new journey here for the next few years. That is exciting.”