Ross County appoint Derek Adams as he realises dream of third spell after Morecambe exit

Derek Adams & Malky Mackay
Derek Adams replaces Malky Mackay, who left County last week

Derek Adams says "I've looked forward to coming back for many years" as he was appointed Ross County manager for a third time after leaving Morecambe.

The 48-year-old returns nine years after he last left the Scottish Premiership club.

Adams had been in charge of Morecambe since February 2022 and leaves them ninth in England's League Two after their relegation last term.

"I've been here twice, I understand the football club," he told BBC Scotland.

"It's a football club I know really well as a player and a manager on two occasions."

This time, Adams replaces Malky Mackay, who was sacked last week with his side sitting second bottom of the the top flight.

County have gone eight games without a win, having only avoided the drop last season in a play-off final shootout.

Adams inherits a team sitting above only Livingston on goal difference after two wins from their opening 12 games of the new campaign.

Chairman Roy MacGregor said he had "known for a number of years that Derek wanted to come".

"We had 70 applications to go through, but the name Derek Adams kept coming back," he said.

"For us, it was that knowledge, determination and passion for Ross County that was the deciding factors.

"When we decided that was the route we wanted to go, we got on to it fairly quickly over the weekend and, with Morecambe's agreement, we managed to attract Derek back to the club."

Confirming his departure hours earlier, Morecambe said Adams did "an excellent job in challenging circumstances" during his second stint with the club.

A statement explained that the board wished to keep him, but a contractual release clause was met.

Adams first left Dingwall in November 2010 - after leading the then second-tier side to the Scottish Cup final that year - to become assistant to Colin Calderwood at Hibernian.

He returned to County just seven months later, though, leading them to promotion to the top flight before leaving in August 2014.

Since then, he has had spells at Plymouth Argyle, Morecambe and Bradford City, before agreeing to take charge at the Lancashire club for a second time in February 2022.

County, who have not revealed the length of contract, say their "backroom staff will all remain at the club in their respective roles".

Meanwhile, MacGregor's target for Adams "is to survive in this league", with anything above the relegation play-off place "a bonus".

Will Adams' return be good for County?

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