BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
New Stabaek boss Billy McKinlay is determined to bounce back from his Real Sociedad woe by becoming a roaring success in Norway.
The 46-year-old was dismissed by the Spanish strugglers last month after working as assistant manager to David Moyes but had no qualms about continuing his coaching career abroad.
He was named as the shock replacement for American boss Bob Bradley at the Nadderud Stadion on Monday.
Former Rangers and Norway defender Henning Berg was linked to the post but, McKinlay, who managed Watford for eight days in 2014 and was a highly regarded coach at Fulham, is thrilled to have landed the top job – and is determined to give fans their money’s worth.
The former Scotland internationalist said: “I want to win and I think there needs to be a character and determination associated with the team. But I like to pass the ball and we will play attacking football when the opportunity arises.
“We need to give the supporters something they enjoy coming to watch, I am aware they spend a lot of money on football. Hopefully we can give them a winning team and one they enjoy watching.
“When I met the directors and the president of the club, I had a very good feeling and it was something I was really excited about happening.
“Everyone has been very welcoming, there is a warmth and I have always enjoyed working with clubs which give that impression. I think this is a really good opportunity for myself to work at a good club, with good people and I’m hopeful the future will be positive.”
Last term saw Stabaek punch well above their weight in the Norwegian top flight, which runs from March to November, by finishing third and securing qualification to next season’s Europa League.
And, following Bradley’s decision to join French side Le Havre, McKinlay knows he faces a challenge to maintain those lofty standards.
The former Dundee United favourite told Stabak.no: “We need to recognise that last season was a terrific achievement for the manager, the players and the club.
“The challenge is to do that again. We are still in a period of development at Stabaek, will young players who are progressing nicely, but we want to show that last season was one we can replicate.
“That is something that everyone at the club will be working hard to do.”