MARK McGHEE has targeted a return to professional management.

But the competitive fires which took him to the technical areas of the Championship, the SPL and international football will burn as bright as ever during an 11-game stint in the sixth tier.

McGhee has taken over at Eastbourne Borough after the sacking of Jamie Howell.

He held his first training session on Tuesday and will be at the helm when Wealdstone visit in Vanarama National League south tomorrow.

McGhee has added his former Albion midfielder Charlie Oatway to his coaching team.

His senior players include Dean Cox (pictured), the winger he gave a professional debut when Albion won at Rotherham on the opening day of the 2006-07 season.

It is all a bit different to McGhee’s roles with Scotland, Motherwell, Aberdeen and several English clubs, including the Seagulls from 2003 until 2006.

He told The Argus: “We had a training session on Tuesday but only about 11 of the boys were there.

“The rest are injured or couldn’t make it but I know the way it works.

“The ones I got to meet were very enthusiastic, there’s a lot of energy.

“I’ve been sitting around for so long. I did my little stint at Barnet. I wanted to be working in football again and this is a challenge.

“When I met the people there on Monday, they were very enthusiastic about me coming in and doing the job for a few weeks.”

Borough trained again last night and McGhee has called them in for a pre-match run through tomorrow morning.

Cox was not due to train last night as he sought treatment from former Albion physio Malcolm Stuart but he will be available tomorrow.

McGhee said: “People tell me he has been their best player this season. I’ve watched his career and he has had a good career.

“I said to him the other day the biggest surprise to me was he is playing at this level now and not higher.

“He still has time to do that. He’s only 31.

“I know he has signed a new contract here recently but maybe he’s like me - he has 11 games to show people he is still good enough to be at a higher level.”

That’s how McGhee sees things – very much in the shop window for any club looking for an experienced manager.

He is still based around Brighton and watches his school-age son play for a local club.

McGhee’s last managerial job was at Barnet last season but it was not what he wanted.

He said: “I went in as a consultant and ended up holding the reins when the manager we had there didn’t want to do it.

“They were ten games I didn’t want to take. As soon as I could, I got Graham Westley in.

“This is very different. I wanted to take this and I go in knowing what my role is.”

Borough are in their customary mid-table position, not in danger but with the play-offs disappearing from view.

McGhee said: “Managers usually leave a club when they are not doing well.

“I’ve brought Charlie in with me and he is a greatly experienced assistant or third coach and we have Danny Bloor on board.

“It’s 11 games. I have no ambition here beyond that but it doesn’t mean I am taking it lightly.

“There’s a job to be done here.”

Albion season ticket holders can get into tomorrow’s match for £10. The usual adult admission price is £13.