LISTEN – Former manager says he feels the hunger has left Brora Rangers as he steps down in charge
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FORMER Brora Rangers manager Steven Mackay says he could not get the maximum out of his players any more after deciding to step down in charge of the Highland League champions.
Listen to the full interview below.
Mackay quit as manager of the Cattachs hours after their humiliating 6–2 defeat at Fraserburgh last Saturday.
But his decision to step down was not as a result of last weekend's thrashing at Bellslea.
He said since their League Two play-off semi final defeat to Kelty Hearts last season, something has been missing at the club.
He said he felt he could not turn things around which led to his decision to quit.
“I could have stayed. I could have just put it down to a bad day at the office," he said.
“It’s not - it is something fundamentally missing. I just can’t get the maximum effort out of them for whatever reason.
“That’s not me having a dig at the players. It’s just how it is.
“It feels like the hunger has gone and, sometimes in life, that just happens - you naturally plateau.
“A fresh voice or fresh face coming in can totally galvanise the whole squad.
“A similar situation happened before I took the job. I played in a Brora team where the hunger had gone - I could smell it and I could see it.
“The manager Ross Tokely stuck around and tried to battle it and fight it. We ended up having a really embarrassing season, finishing sixth.
“I don’t want that to happen."
He added: “I could have stayed, I’m stubborn and love a challenge, but we could get to December and be fifth or sixth and out of the league.
“As much as it kills me to walk away, I feel like I’m giving the club an opportunity to still win the league.
“With just one defeat, someone could come in and galvanise the players.
“It is a part-time job in name only and to do that needs much more than I can give with my own job being so demanding.”
Mackay says Saturday's 6–2 defeat at Fraserburgh was the worst result during his time as manager.
He said he felt uncomfortable watching his players perform the way they did on Saturday.
But ever since the League Two play-off semi final defeat to Kelty Hearts, Mackay felt that kind of result was coming.
He said: "From an outsider’s perspective looking in, it does look like one bad result.
“But since the Kelty Hearts game in the pyramid play-offs, a result like that has been coming unfortunately.
“I sensed it, and made a bit of a deal with myself after the Kelty game where, if I ever felt the boys weren’t performing anywhere near the levels they could, I’d seriously look at my contribution to that.
“Players can have bad games and be off the pace, but Saturday’s performance is the worst I’ve ever been involved in at Brora, even when I played in the dark, early days.
“I just felt we were bullied in every department. I spoke to the players after the game and said it looked like we were just giving up.
“I struggle to get on board with that. I was never the greatest footballer, but I’d always work hard irrespective.
“I was so uncomfortable watching that game, watching the boys not give their all for the club and jersey.
“The club deserves more than that and the fans deserve more than that."
“I’m responsible for the boys going out on the park and playing with heart, with pride and desire.
“For whatever reason, it wasn’t there and it hasn’t been there since Kelty, and it was creeping up on us.
“Football will always remind you at some point where you are. Saturday was a reminder that, as a football club, we are way off where we need to be.
“Again, I will take full responsibility for that.