Alex McLeish to leave Belgian club Genk at end of season
By Stuart McAvoy
Last Updated: 31/03/15 7:50pm
Alex McLeish has confirmed he will step down as head coach of Belgium side KRC Genk at the end of the season.
The former Rangers, Aston Villa and Birmingham manger took charge of the club in August last year and has already decided to leave his post in May. McLeish’s side missed out on qualification for the Jupiler Pro League Championship play-offs, though they did qualify for the Europa League play-offs.
McLeish, 56, told Sky Sports News HQ that he has enjoyed his time in Belgium and has learned more as a coach, but feels the time is right to move on,
“I signed a one-year deal and it was always my intention to take stock after the first season and I feel I am just going to move on," he said.
"The club are making changes internally, they are trying to get some new polices and I am really enjoying my time. It has reinvented myself as a coach again, learning the new culture and working with a lot of young players.
"I think we have introduced about six or seven teenagers to the team throughout the season and we ended up climbing the table. In terms of the next few weeks it’s going to be really important for us as well because we can still get a Europa place.”
The former Scotland player has a 43% win rate with his current club and believes his side are well placed to get into the Europa League. And he feels he has got his “mojo back” as a coach.
“When we look at things and how things are going to evolve at the club I felt it was the right time for me to go I think I have done a pretty decent job here and got my mojo back a bit in terms of the coaching side of things.”
McLeish refused to rule out a return to the Premier league and believes his is still more than capable of managing at the top level.
“Without a doubt, I know that people will look back and probably pick out the negatives but I think I have had a lot of success in England as well, but it’s certainly not as if I’m punting myself for a job there," he said.
"I know, with having done this job in Belgium and working with a Dutch coach as well as a really good trainer.
"Alex Rae also came with me - he is a really infectious guy. The players love him. We still have a job to do this season. It’s just one of those things. Let’s get this nailed and let the players concentrate on the play-offs and not have to read about, will I stay, will I go or will we get a new coach?
"I feel secure about making the decision and that means looking forward."
However McLeish was much more reluctant when talking about a return to manage one of his previous clubs - Rangers.
“I think suffice to say Stuart McCall is picking things up a little bit there, getting some good results and every week we tune in, especially Alex Rae," he said. "The stories over the last couple of years, it’s made very interesting reading but at the moment I would not look into the future.“