Micky Mellon has expressed some “regret” at leaving Dundee United as he prepares to take on the Tranmere Rovers hotseat for a second time.
He finds himself back at Prenton Park, a place he left to head north and take on the Tangerines’ job last summer, for a second stint following a successful spell in charge in the Wirral from 2016-20.
Despite leading the Terrors to Premiership safety and a Scottish Cup semi-final, his time at the club is tinged with regret.
Not meeting the Arabs a sore point of Tannadice tenure
“I came down with an open mind because I loved living in Scotland, in St Andrews and I had a fantastic time at Dundee United,” Mellon said speaking to Sky Sports after signing a two-year deal at Tranmere.
“I loved it but the only regret was I didn’t get time to meet the supporters.
“I loved everything about it – the players, the staff and the owners.
“I had a really good time there but it was decided between us all that both of us wanted to go in different directions.
“Which was fine. I had no problem and it was an amicable parting.
“I had an open mind about what I was going to do next and the phone call came to come here and it just felt right.”
🟧"The only regret is I didn't get time to meet the supporters."
Former Dundee United boss Micky Mellon has been reflecting on his time at Tannadice and discusses why he left the club.
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) May 31, 2021
Lifting the lid on how his return to the English League Two club came about, Mellon continued: “I left Dundee United last week and the owner here, Mark Palios, called me yesterday and said to me: ‘Do you want to have a chat?’
“That’s all it was really so I said: ‘Yeah’.
“I came down yesterday, went to the chairman’s house and spent the day there.
“We had some lunch and chatted about what he wanted to do here and did I want to be a part of that.
“I said yeah and he gave me the backing to do that. It’s definitely something I want to achieve.
“Everybody knows how much I love the football club and you only have to look at the facilities.
“It’s absolutely second to none. The ground’s in place, the fanbase is ready to come back so everything’s in place to move forward.”
‘I love Scotland and I maybe would’ve wanted to do a bit more up there’
With his return ticket stamped, Mellon will uproot his family and head south once again as he looks to repeat the trick of promotion at Tranmere for a third time.
For all he’s excited about the challenge ahead, you get the sense the 49-year-old Scot was keen to leave a bigger mark on his homeland after cutting short is stay on Tayside.
“I’m delighted to be back but I had a brilliant time in Scotland,” he added.
“I love Scotland and I maybe would’ve wanted to do a bit more up there but the opportunity to come back to England, I’m thrilled about.
“The family move back down again and we’ll crack on with things again.”
He continued: “It’s difficult when you say: ‘Don’t go back’.
“I’ve only been away for about nine months so that feels a bit strange.
“All the staff and the people that make it such a fantastic club are still here.
“The chairman’s still the same so there isn’t really anything or much changed.
“It’s a really vibrant place.”
United are currently on the lookout for a new boss with Tangerines academy coach and head of tactical performance Tam Courts the bookies’ favourite.