• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Shiels: With me at Morton, selling season tickets would be difficult

KENNY SHIELS admitted yesterday that he faced no option but to resign from Morton after the humiliating 10-2 defeat to Hamilton Academical last Saturday.

The result was the worst he had ever suffered as a manager and immediately plunged his role at the club into doubt. After talks with the Morton directors, a parting of the ways became inevitable on Tuesday night.

"After that defeat on Saturday, Morton wouldn't be able to move on, I don't think, with me still in place," said Shiels yesterday. "It was a real sore one. I'm in the firing line, and that sort of thing has to be a manager's responsibility. The club had to be able to move forward, with season-tickets to sell for next year and so forth.

"I had to appreciate the club needed mental refurbishment, so I had to leave. With me still there, I think selling season tickets would have been more difficult."

Shiels, who had to rush off back to Northern Ireland for a funeral immediately after the Hamilton game, has since been left picking over a match which proved to be his abrupt downfall in Greenock.

"Saturday's game was a disaster," he said. "I was very embarrassed by it, it was hurtful. Oddly enough, at 2-1 down we had looked the likelier to score, but Hamilton hit us with bursts of goals.

"I asked myself, 'should I have set up any differently?' but we'd had three clean sheets in four games and had gone three wins, a draw and a loss in our last five. The Hamilton game just became an unbelievable situation.

"There is absolutely no excuse for what happened, but psychologically it is perhaps explainable to a degree. Hamilton were going for promotion and needed a load of goals, while Morton were already relegated. None of this excuses it one bit, but it explains it a little."

Shiels was further wounded by comments made by Paul Hartley, the Dundee manager, who said that such a scoreline as 10-2 "doesn't even happen in amateur football". Hartley, it has since been noted, played in and was sent off in Aberdeen's 9-0 defeat to Celtic in Glasgow in November, 2010.

At Morton there was a constant rumour about Shiels, who could not take his own No.2 with him to the club, not seeing eye-to-eye with certain backroom coaches whom he inherited at Cappielow.

"There have been certain issues going on at Morton which I don't want to speak about," he said. "I take the responsibility, and I've resigned, and I need to move on with my life. This experience will make me a better manager - I know it will. I want to - and I need to - get back to work in football.

"For the record, I'd love to see Morton one day in the Premiership - that was my goal until recently. I'd love to see it especially for the chairman [Douglas Rae] who has put so much into the club. But I just have to move on. It didn't work out for me and I feel really sorry about that."

Contextual targeting label: 
Football

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

231985