Mark McGhee believes a victory over St Johnstone tomorrow would be the ideal way to remember Phil O’Donnell eight years after his untimely passing.
‘Well host the Perth Saints some eight years and a day after the club captain collapsed and died during a game against Dundee United.
McGhee was widely praised for guiding the players through their grief during his first spell in the Fir Park hotseat and he is still mindful of the effect of the anniversary on striker David Clarkson, O’Donnell’s nephew, who returned to the club this year like his manager.
McGhee said: “It was a huge thing for us all and we still remember Phil fondly.
“The first thing I did this morning was to send a text off to Clarky just to make sure he knows that I’m thinking that.
“It won’t be something we will all be talking about today. Those of us who were here and those of us who knew Phil will be thinking about that at some point.
“We get on with life and there could be no better way of doing that than maybe winning the game tomorrow night to celebrate that.”
McGhee is expecting a tough encounter against a Saints side who have shown some fantastic consistency this campaign.
The Perthshire side sit fourth, having built a considerable gap between themselves and the chasing pack.
However, the 58-year old Fir Park boss reckons there isn’t much to choose from in most of the sides, and hopes it’s his side who can edge it at Fir Park tomorrow.
He continued: “They have a very solid way of playing; they have a consistent selection and work hard to maintain an effective shape.
“They work hard for each other and have good players in good positions to have them. They have experience and are aggressive at the back with a talented goalkeeper behind them. All the bits are there.
“It’s going to be a really, really difficult game but at the same time, I think a lot of teams in this league are similar and all capable of a great performance.”