The change of Lees in the Kilmarnock dug-out won’t make Kilmarnock weaker opposition for St Johnstone on Saturday, Tommy Wright insisted.
Wright and Lee Clark go back a long way but the Perth boss was as surprised as anybody when he heard that his former Newcastle United team-mate was heading to Bury.
But, having watched Killie play Aberdeen on Sunday and lose narrowly, he is convinced that Lee McCulloch will be a shrewd in-house appointment as Clark’s successor.
“It came out of the blue,” said Wright. “But Lee had worked in England and the draw was always going to be there for him.
“He has been good for Kilmarnock and the club has been good for Lee.
“His time here has got him back on track in terms of his managerial career. He has got a move on the back of what he has done in Scotland.”
Wright added: “I was at their game with Aberdeen on Sunday. They worked extremely hard and probably should have seen the game out when they were one ahead, even though Aberdeen had created more chances.
“But errors cost them the points.
“It will be another difficult game for us. Lee (McCulloch) has enough experience to deal with it in the short term and long term if he wants the job.
“Everything is still so tight below us. They had a chance to go sixth on their own just nine points behind us. But they finished up losing the game and they’re only four points above Hamilton in the play-off spot.
“I would imagine Kilmarnock will want to appoint a manager quickly. Lee is in the best position. He knows the club, he knows the players.
“He has been a great player and he is probably ready for it now. He will want to put his own stamp on it and if you are looking for a smooth transition after Lee Clark’s departure I’d say Lee McCulloch is the man best suited to the job.”