Ross County face fan backlash after appointing Malky Mackay as manager

Malky Mackay has taken over as manager of Ross County amid supporter concerns regarding his appointment. The former Cardiff, Watford and Wigan manager, who stepped down as the Scottish Football Association’s performance director in November after four years, replaces John Hughes who left on Monday despite steering the club to Scottish Premiership safety.

Before Mackay’s appointment was confirmed, Kenny MacLennan, supporter liaison officer for County, 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 English Football Association 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 cleared by the Football Association in July 2015.

Speaking to the media after 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, Mackay said: “Hold on for the ride ahead.”