Mark McGhee: Motherwell sack manager after 'disappointing' run of results

Mark McGhee
McGhee returned to the manager's post at Fir Park in October 2015

Motherwell have sacked manager Mark McGhee after what they describe as a "disappointing" run of poor results.

The 59-year-old Scotland assistant boss leaves his second stint at Fir Park with the club 10th in the Premiership.

Motherwell have won just two of their past 13 league games and lost 5-1 at home to Dundee on Saturday.

Coach Stephen Robinson will take temporary charge, with help from assistant James McFadden and under-20s boss Stephen Craigan.

A statement from the club said the decision was "taken by the board following consultation with the [fans' group] 'Well Society... after a disappointing run of results".

Fir Park skipper Keith Lasley says the players are now focused on escaping relegation trouble, but revealed the dressing room was a sombre place when news of the sacking filtered through.

"It's a massive disappointment, we feel as a group that we let the manager down," Lasley said.

"From the players' point of view we still believed he was the man that could turn things around."

Former Aberdeen, Celtic and Newcastle striker McGhee first managed Motherwell from 2007 to 2009, steering the club into Europe in his debut season with a third-place finish in the top flight.

He returned in October 2015, after unsuccessful periods at Aberdeen and Bristol Rovers, and took 'Well from 11th to a fifth-place finish.

Saturday's heavy loss to Dundee was the club's fourth consecutive defeat, a run that included a 7-2 thumping at Aberdeen.

'Well are three points above bottom club Hamilton and six points behind sixth-placed Dundee.

McGhee, who has also managed Reading, Leicester, Wolves, Millwall and Brighton, was the target of a fans' protest at the weekend and admitted he was under pressure.

Gordon Strachan and Mark McGhee
McGhee has been assistant to Scotland manager Gordon Strachan since January 2013

He is due to face a Scottish Football Association disciplinary hearing on 16 March following his dismissal during the defeat at Pittodrie.

McGhee, who served a touchline ban in December, is accused of using "offensive, abusing and/or insulting language and gestures" towards a match official and "adopting aggressive behaviour towards an official".

Robinson, 42, returned to the Motherwell coaching staff last week.

The former Northern Ireland assistant was sacked as Oldham boss in January, having taken over at Boundary Park in the summer.

Time for a reaction

He first joined 'Well in early 2015, serving under Ian Baraclough then McGhee, and has asked for a reaction from the Fir Park players.

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Well players let McGhee down - Lasley

"There's obviously a lot of love for Mark at the club, he was here a long time, but the players are paid to play football and ultimately they get another chance when sometimes managers don't, so they have to pick themselves up," Robinson told BBC Scotland.

"We've conceded a lot of goals and we have to try to stop that. If you don't do the basics right, which we didn't do on Saturday and possibly haven't done in the last lot of weeks, then it doesn't matter who sits in the hotseat - you have to win headers, you have to win tackles and show a desire to play for the football club.

"It's a situation that we can most definitely get out of. We're a couple of wins away from being a top six side."

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