Motherwell FC manager Stephen Robinson has revealed that keeping long time defensive stalwart Stephen McManus at the club in a coaching role was “a no brainer”.
Lanark-born McManus (34) retired from playing this month after a stellar 14-year professional playing career with Celtic, Middlesbrough, Bristol City, Motherwell and Scotland.
“Giving Stephen a coaching role was a no brainer,” gaffer Robinson said.
“I was not surprised he decided to retire from playing.
“I have total respect for him and it was a decision we both made.
“I felt that Stephen wouldn’t play as many games this season, but he would be a brilliant asset to us off the pitch. We were never going to let him go.”
McManus had not played competitively for Motherwell since February when he picked up a groin injury during a Celtic v Motherwell clash at Parkhead.
But, although the imposing ex-defender won’t take to the field in a playing capacity again, Robbo is delighted to have him as part of an impressive looking coaching staff at Motherwell which also includes former Northern Ireland centre back Stephen Craigan who coaches the club’s under-20s and fans’ favourite Keith Lasley who is Robinson’s assistant boss.
“Stephen is working with the Motherwell under-17s and is also with me, Lasley and Craigan with the first team and under-20 squads,” Robbo added. “Between the three of us, there is a good coaching staff who have played at the top level.
“We have got ex-Scotland and Northern Ireland captains, both of whom are centre halves, on our books.
“That is brilliant for all the young defenders we have in the first team, guys like Cedric Kipre, Charles Dunne, Ben Heneghan and Ellis Plummer.
“The advice our experienced coaches can pass onto these young players is absolutely fantastic.”
Robbo was speaking during the build-up to this Saturday’s home game against Hearts.