FORMER Celtic defender Malky Mackay has been sacked as manager of Ross County.

The Highlanders have gone on a sequence of nine games without a win, including a 3-0 loss to the champions in Dingwall earlier this month.

County have now taken the decision to part company with their boss who is highly rated by Brendan Rodgers after their time together at Watford before the Hoops gaffer quit as team chief in June 2009 to be succeeded by the ex-Celt.

Mackay, 51, took charge of the Dingwall outfit in the summer of 2021 after another former Hoops centre-back John Hughes left at the completion of his temporary position in the dug-out. The one-time gaffer at Vicarage Road, Cardiff City and Wigan led County to a top six finish in his first season.

TOUCHLINE RIVALS…Malky Mackay and Brendan Rodgers watch as Celtic overcome Ross County 3-0 in Dingwall on November 4.

He also kept the club in the Premiership last term following a dramatic comeback and penalty shoot-out victory in the play-off against Partick Thistle.

Mackay, though, witnessed County’s 1-0 loss to St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park at the weekend which left them in second bottom place with 10 points from the opening 12 fixtures, just ahead of Livingston on goal difference.

The former Scotland caretaker manager, who was in charge in a 1-0 loss to the Netherlands at Pittodrie in 2017, was informed of the decision to relieve him of his duties following a meeting with chairman Roy MacGregor and CEO Steven Ferguson.

A statement said: “Malky has brought so much more to the club and the wider staff than just football management. The board would like to put on record our thanks for his contribution over the last two-and-a-half years and wish him all the best in the next chapter of his career.”

After only three months into the season, Mackay is now the fourth Premiership boss to lose his job following Michael Beale (Rangers), Steven MacLean (St Johnstone) and Lee Johnson (Hibs).

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