Simo Valakari has staked an early claim to be named the new Motherwell manager in the immediate wake of Mark McGhee’s sacking yesterday morning.

The former Fir Park midfielder, who guided SJK to the Finnish Cup, the Finnish League Cup and the Veikkausliiga championship, believes he is better equipped now for the role more than he was when pipped to the post back in 2015 by McGhee.

The Fir Park board took action yesterday to relieve the Scotland assistant manager of his duties on the back of a sobering 5-1 dismantling from Dundee in front of an irate home crowd, a result that extended a dismal run for the Lanarkshire side to just two wins from 14 matches leaving them two points off bottom.

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First team coach Steve Robinson, assisted by James McFadden and Stephen Craigan, has been placed in interim charge.

However, after parting company with SJK only last week, Valakari is ready to launch himself back into management and has targeted a return to the place he called home from 1996-2000.

Speaking exclusively to Herald Sport, the man who was interviewed for the job last time out said: “It would be a great honour and a new challenge for me. I would be more ready than I ever was the last time. I have gained more experience and I am more complete now.

“With my previous club we were the champions in Finland. But of course my aim is to go to a higher league. Of course I was disappointed not to get the Motherwell job last time but part of me was happy to stay in Finland to win the championship.

“I have great memories. I know the club. Okay, it’s a long time since I’ve been there but Motherwell Football Club gave me the chance to start my professional football career. It would be nice to put something back to them. They have absolutely great fans. I loved the atmosphere and I want to be a part of that. There is great potential there. They could get great results.

“I left SJK last week. I wanted to take the club forward but the owners had different ideas how to run the club. Under me we had been very successful. Winning promotion, the cup and the championship. It’s a lot of things but I walked out with my head held high because I’ve been very successful.

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“Now I feel it is time for a new challenge.”

Motherwell will now take a measured approach when looking to fill the vacancy left by McGhee, and it was a similar process undertaken when the decision was made on Monday night to let their manager go.

Demonstrations were held outside Fir Park during and after that Dundee defeat, however no decision on his future was made at that point. Herald Sport understands a meeting of club bosses, including two representatives from the Well Society, were present during a four-hour meeting at the stadium in which the call was then made. McGhee was informed when he returned to the club yesterday morning in person after being out of the country before then meeting with the players.

In what was his second spell in charge, Gordon Strachan's assistant returned Motherwell to the top six during his first season last year, however a recent run has seen them lose 7-2 away to Aberdeen and now 5-1 at home to Dundee in two of their last three matches.

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A club statement said: “Motherwell Football Club has today (Tuesday) parted company with manager Mark McGhee.

“The decision, taken by the Board following consultation with the ‘Well Society, comes after a disappointing run of results, culminating in Saturday’s loss at home to Dundee.

“Stephen Robinson, flanked by assistant James McFadden and Under 20s boss Stephen Craigan, has agreed to take temporary charge whilst a new permanent manager is recruited as swiftly as possible.

“The club wishes to thank Mark for his work during his second spell at Fir Park, particularly getting the club into the top-six during the 2015/16 season and wish him every success in the future.”