Jim Goodwin is adamant he has had enough time to get his Aberdeen disappointment out of his system prior to taking on the Dundee United job – even though he was planning to take a break until the summer.
The 41-year-old was appointed manager of the relegation-threatened Tannadice side on Wednesday, just four-and-a-half weeks after being sacked from his previous role as Dons boss in the immediate aftermath of their 6-0 defeat at Hibernian.
While Goodwin was relishing spending more time with his Glasgow-based family, he soon started to miss the game and – after turning down an approach from another club last month – felt ready to return to the frontline when United contacted him this week to ask him to lead their cinch Premiership survival bid.
“I was quite comfortable being back at home again, my family are based in Glasgow so my wife and three kids had been living most of the week without me during my time at Aberdeen,” he explained.
“It was lovely to be at home, being able to do the school run and take the responsibility away from my wife in terms of all the different clubs the kids go to in the evenings. But I’m not great at sitting around doing nothing in the day.
“The first week was okay but the second week I really started to get itchy feet and started to miss it. That adrenalin rush you get on a matchday is something I really started to miss.
“I wasn’t planning on coming back in before the summer but this is far too big a club and too good an opportunity for me to turn down.
“It would have been the easy decision to stay in the house and look at summer holidays online and decide where we’re going to go and maybe get a few rounds of golf in, which I was actually really looking forward to doing next month when the weather picks up, but I love this game too much.”
With United four points adrift at the foot of cinch Premiership and both Jack Ross and Liam Fox having been sacked by the club this season, Goodwin admits the remaining 12 games of this season represent an opportunity for both himself and his newly-inherited players to “make amends” for their respective struggles earlier in the campaign.
“The initial reaction after parting ways with Aberdeen was one of real disappointment, but there was no anger,” said the Irishman, whose media unveiling as United boss on Thursday was also the first time he had spoken since his Dons exit.
“I absolutely loved my time at the club. I’ve reflected on things I could have done differently and there are certainly learnings I have taken from that experience that I hope I can take into this opportunity.
“Going into the World Cup break, everybody was very pleased with the situation, we were sitting third in the league and had a semi-final to look forward to.
“I think it was one horrendously bad week that cost me my job at Aberdeen. We had a really poor performance at Tynecastle, got heavily defeated there.
“The Darvel game, of course, was a real shock to everybody and then following that up with the heavy defeat at Easter Road, I think it was inevitable what the outcome was going to be after that particular game.
“That one hard week at Aberdeen has cost me my job but I’ve been given the opportunity at Dundee United to make amends, that’s the way I look at it and that’s the way I want the players to look at it as well.
“I want to forget what has happened in the past this season, and I want them to focus on the next dozen games, restore some pride in themselves and this great football club.”
Goodwin’s first game in charge of United, ironically, is at home to Aberdeen on Saturday and he insists he is comfortable with any abuse that comes his way from what will be a large travelling support.
“I tend to get a hot reception wherever I go,” he joked. “All I would ask the Dundee United supporters to do is come and support their team and give them that encouragement they need to get back on track.
“And to the Aberdeen fans, they were one of the best travelling supports I’ve seen in the league. Whatever reaction they give me, it’s neither here nor there. I just hope they understand I did my best for the club and unfortunately it wasn’t good enough.”