Sandy Stewart considers management return after leaving Houston

By John BarnesBBC Scotland
Owen Coyle and Sandy Stewart
Stewart (right) has had a long working relationship with Coyle

Sandy Stewart is taking time to consider his next move after ending a 17-month spell as Owen Coyle's assistant at Houston Dynamo.

Coyle has taken charge of Blackburn and Stewart has not ruled out working with his long-term colleague again.

But the former Airdrie boss, who was in charge of the Diamonds from 2002 to 2006, may also pursue being a manager in his own right again.

"I would never say never to anything," said the 50-year-old Scot.

"When I was manager of Airdrie I was there for four-and-a-half years and I loved it.

"It was a new experience for me because I was just moving from being a player into management but I genuinely loved it and I'd definitely look at doing it again.

"Myself and Owen think we work really well together, we've had a lot of success together and if that opportunity came up, it would be fantastic.

"I had three or four opportunities to go out on my own when I was working with Owen, but I just felt at that moment in time the two of us worked well as a partnership and I still believe we'll have success as a partnership in the future."

Return to the UK

Sandy Stewart
Stewart won the Scottish Challenge Cup as St Johnstone caretaker boss in 2007

Stewart has also worked with Coyle at St Johnstone, Burnley, Bolton and Wigan over the last decade since leaving Airdrie.

He enjoyed his spell in Major League Soccer but, with Coyle, felt the time was right to return to the UK.

"It definitely was a fantastic experience," he explained. "But there was only one reason why we left and that was family. Initially we were looking for our families to go out to the States but it just didn't happen.

"The people at Houston were fantastic with us. They helped us settle in really well and they couldn't have done anymore for us. When it got to 17 months it just got far too much.

"I probably learned more in 17 months there than I did in the last five or six years here as far as coaching and looking at and analysing different teams.

"Nearly every player was new to us, you didn't know their strengths or weaknesses."

'Longest game ever'

Houston Dynamo players
Dynamo's Giles Barnes and Cristian Maidana celebrate a goal against Dallas

Travelling can take its toll for MLS sides and the weather can also be hazardous.

"We went up to New England last year and about 20 minutes into the game there was a lightning warning and when the sound goes off you need to go in," he added.

"So, we went in and had an hour and 20 minutes delay. We then came back out and played the rest of the first half.

"We then went in the dressing room at half-time only to be told there would be other lightning delays. I think we started the game at 19:30 at night and finished the game at 00:30. It's the longest game I've ever been involved in.

"The travelling sometimes can be horrendous depending where you go. We went to Vancouver, it was five hours - Seattle, Portland something similar. It's not just that, there's a two-hour time difference as well.

"When you go to Colorado and Real Salt Lake you've got to acclimatise to the high altitude and that definitely works as an advantage to them.

"Teams coming to Houston encountered the heat and the humidity and we took that to our advantage as well, there is no doubt about it.

"If you get a good result in the MLS away from home, it's a fantastic result because everybody has a better home record than what they've got away. We had a fantastic home record. I think we lost only two games at home in a year."

Top Stories