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Manuel Pascali turned down chance of Killie role but hopes he’ll return one day

Soccer – Scottish Premiership – Kilmarnock v Celtic – Rugby Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Former Kilmarnock captain Manuel Pascali has revealed he rejected the chance to return to Rugby Park last year as Angelo Alessio’s assistant.

The Italian felt the position was unclear with Alex Dyer retaining his post as assistant boss following the departure of Steve Clarke.

Pascali’s decision looked a smart move when Alessio lost his job after six months, with Dyer taking his place.

However, Pascali believes he will one day return to the club where he made more than 200 appearances and became a fans’ favourite.

He told the DW Podcast: “It was funny because, when I saw Alessio was a candidate for the Kilmarnock manager, I said to my wife, if he’s going to go there 100 per cent he is going to call me as his assistant. It was a sixth sense.

“The day they announced him, I received a message from Alessio on Instagram asking for a chat. He asked me if I would like to become his assistant manager at Killie.

“I said ‘yes, I am ready’ but the position wasn’t clear because Alex Dyer was the assistant and so the job was his job.

“I would have to stop playing football to coach, but Alex was assistant manager and didn’t want to walk away from the job.

“I said, ‘look, there is something that is saying to me it’s not the right moment’.”

Angelo Alessio and Massimo Donati

Angelo Alessio and Massimo Donati (Andy Newport/PA)

Former Celtic and Hamilton midfielder Massimo Donati became Alessio’s right-hand man while Dyer remained in his job before taking the reins when the former Italy, Juventus and Chelsea assistant manager left.

Pascali said: “I don’t know if I took the right decision. Somebody said ‘yes you did’, some others said ‘no Manu, because if you were there, Alessio wouldn’t be sacked’.

“I tried to look at the whole picture and I said if I am going to come there and be a kind of technical assistant, this won’t work because there will be Angelo, myself and Alex, everyone won’t be swimming in the same direction.

“I think Alex’s aim was taking the job as well, so I said ‘This is not going to work. Alex has been there for two years, he has a strong connection, he is not going to leave the job’.

“The decision was huge because I had to stop football. But I think and I am sure the chance will come again maybe in the future.

“James Fowler is there as the director so we speak sometimes, even if he needs players I can give him some advice. I know it’s hard because the Italian market is not easy.

“But I think my chance will come again.”

Manuel Pascali was part of Kilmarnock's League Cup winning squad in 2012

Manuel Pascali was part of Kilmarnock’s League Cup winning squad in 2012 (PA)

Pascali continued his playing career and has just embarked on a new season with Serie D side Fanfulla at the age of 39.

“(Alessandro) Costacurta played until 41, (Paolo) Maldini played until 40, and I am taking them as a target,” he said.

“Obviously I am not stupid and if I see I’m not good enough I am going to say ‘OK this is enough’, and I am going to try my managerial career.

“Meanwhile, I am still playing, I am enjoying it and doing a good job, and I want to finish on a high.

“Then I will work hard to have the chance to manage here or maybe in Scotland, you never know.”