GUS MacPHERSON last night revealed he’d decided to quit Queen of the South six weeks before they were relegated from the First Division...reports the Daily Record
His “mutual-consent” exit from Palmerston was confirmed yesterday – after Queens’ defeat to Raith on Saturday consigned them to life in the third-tier.
The former St Mirren gaffer is gutted by his failure to keep the club up but insists relegation might actually be a good thing for the Doonhamers’ future.
MacPherson faced a tough task in Dumfries, having only had three full-time players at his disposal when he arrived at the club, but he has no regrets about taking over.
He told Record Sport: “I told the board six weeks ago I’d be resigning at the end of the season anyway – whether we stayed up or went down.
“So they knew my feelings back then and unfortunately we weren’t able to stay in the First Division.
“When our fate was sealed, we decided to do it as quickly as possible to allow them to prepare for next season.”
Queens’ No.2 Andy Millen has also left the club and MacPherson reckons the pair were always up against it.
He said: “It was always going to be difficult. We didn’t come in until June and we had three signed players – two outfield and a keeper.
“We had to get a squad together in six weeks before the first competitive game.
“We took the job because we wanted back involved in football but we understood how hard it would be.
“We decided a while ago there wasn’t much more we could do at the club, whether we survived or not.
“When you take any job you always hope to have an impact. But it proved too difficult to get momentum.”
MacPherson is adamant Queens can bounce back from this disappointment and is hoping his own part in their relegation doesn’t scare off potential employers.
He said: “I hope it doesn’t tarnish my reputation and that people will remember the job we did at St Mirren, taking them to SPL, keeping them there and reaching a League Cup Final.
“We’ll have to be patient as there are a lot of coaches in the same position as myself.
“Every club wants to be at the highest level possible but going down might not be such a bad thing for Queen of the South.
“They can regroup and try to go for promotion again.
“Everything, including players’ wages, had to be cut back this season, like a lot of clubs are doing.
“We understood that so we’re not making any excuses or blaming anyone.”
Queen of the South director Mark Robertson said: “The club, Gus and Andy agreed that it was for the best that we make the change now.
“We are now concentrating on appointing a new manager and the board have already drawn up a shortlist.”