Managerial changes

Mellon, Hughes quit as Killie boss Wright clings on

Mellon and Hughes leave while Wright’s future is unclear (pics of Mellon and Hughes by SNS Group).

Kilmarnock boss Tommy Wright appeared determined to rebuild the team after defeat to Dundee saw the Ayrshire club crash out of the Premiership after 28 years.

However, questions will remain over the Northern Irishman’s future and whether he will follow John Hughes who quit Ross County and Micky Mellon who is leaving Dundee United after less than a year in charge.

Dundee took a 2-1 lead to Ayrshire from the first leg of the Premiership play-off final and repeated the scoreline at Rugby Park to seal Kilmarnock’s fate.

“My future is for another day, it’s not right for me to discuss that now,” said a deflated Wright. “It shouldn’t have got to this, but it has. I still take it as my responsibility.”

Hughes could be in line to replace Mellon, having expressed interest previously in the Tannadice job. Mellon, who was linked to the now-filled vacancy at Doncaster Rovers, is said to be leaving by mutual consent.

Hughes parted company with the Dingwall club after securing County’s top-flight status with a strong finish to the league campaign. He took over from Stuart Kettlewell in December on a short-term contract with the Staggies bottom of the table and won the last three matches to finish clear of Kilmarnock and Hamilton in 10th spot.

According to County, the former Hibs and Inverness Caledonian Thistle boss has decided to “explore other footballing opportunities”.

Hughes said: “I would like to thank the players, staff and supporters. I have enjoyed my time at Ross County. I was appointed with the objective of securing Premiership football and I am proud to have achieved this under the circumstances. I wish Roy MacGregor and Ross County every success for the future.”

Ross County said in a statement: “The club can today confirm that John has decided to explore further football opportunities and with the imminent expiry of his contract, John will leave the club. John’s time here was a great success for John personally and Ross County Football Club.

“The club is currently taking stock of our position and we are working extremely hard to deliver a long-term, strategic plan to support the continuing success of Ross County FC in the Scottish Premiership, and what we see as the beginning on a new era here in Dingwall.

“With this in mind, the club will now begin the process of finding our new manager.”

Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson also joined the departure lounge, exiting Kelty Hearts just hours after the Fifers celebrated taking the step up from the Lowland League into the SPFL with a play-off win over Brechin. Alloa Athletic have been linked with a move for the former Scotland international.

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