And the man selected by new national team boss, Gordon Strachan, to be Scotland's No.2 accepts he has to start rebuilding his reputation in the eyes of the Tartan Army as he "has questions to answer".
But when unveiled at Hampden today, McGhee confirmed his recent managerial experiences have done nothing to dent his confidence.
As proof of this, he immediately challenged SFA chief executive Stewart Regan's assertion that the immediate aim of the new managerial team is to avoid Scotland finishing bottom of our World Cup qualifying group.
Four-times-capped McGhee – who will be part-time and remain based in Bristol from where he will cover games in the London area for Strachan – said: "My ambitions for the group are more than that (not finishing last). That's certainly not the way I'd be thinking."
McGhee is sure the players are already there to turn around Scotland's fortunes and said: "There are players who, even in the period since Craig Levein took the job, are really starting to mature.
"There is a nucleus of high-quality players who should show improvement."
McGhee revealed he was scouting players for Levein while boss of Rovers, and this will remain a large part of his remit under Strachan.
He is used to being the main man, but is comfortable now as support act to long-time friend, Strachan, who he describes as a steadying influence in his life.
McGhee said: "Anyone who knows me knows I want my say.
"But Gordon is the manager, he will make the decisions. All I'll do is be there for him to give him any counsel he requires from me.
""I don't describe it as giving Gordon advice, it will be giving him information.
"I imagine I will be assimilating all the information about the opposition and presenting Gordon with a dossier."