Mark McGhee took over as Motherwell manager and admitted that he had expected an earlier invite to take charge of a Scottish club.
Mark McGhee thinks Motherwell have great potential
The 50-year-old has agreed a three-year contract and will have Scott Leitch as assistant at Fir Park.
"I have had good times down south," said the former Brighton manager.
"But, at no time when jobs have become available, have Scottish clubs been banging my door down. Sometimes, I've wondered why that was."
The former Aberdeen, Celtic, Hamburg and Newcastle striker had previously managed Reading, Leicester, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Millwall.
But Motherwell's new manager has been out of work since leaving the Seagulls in September.
Once aware of Motherwell's interest, McGhee sought the advice of Scotland and former Well manager Alex McLeish and Celtic boss Gordon Strachan, both former team-mates with Aberdeen.
Without a shadow of a doubt, he was the only person we offered the job to
Motherwell owner John Boyle
"I spoke to everyone and their brother," he said. "I spoke to big Alex, who knows the club, and Gordon, who has been here for a couple of years now and who has played against Motherwell often enough.
"But, ultimately, it was an easy decision.
"I had become a little bit tired of doing the promotion and relegation thing in the First Division and the Championship. I was looking for a fresh challenge."
Malpas left Motherwell this month after a disappointing first season in charge.
He had faced calls to quit from some fans after a run of one win in 13 games at the end of the season, when relegation was avoided on the penultimate weekend.
"I'm going to have to box clever," admitted McGhee. "We're going to have to look at loans, we're going to have to look at frees, we're going to have to look at peoples' reserve teams and we need to find players who are going to be good enough.
"There are players down south, and overseas, that are good enough, but you have to look hard for them and you have to know where they are.
"I have one or two people in mind who I think would improve us. But, first and foremost, I have to see the team.
"At least one striker is a priority. I'm a believer that any team is only as good as its strikers."
Malpas had eventually stepped down after apparently refusing to accept the club's decision to replace his assistant, Paul Hegarty, with former Well skipper Leitch.
Leitch left County after the Dingwall club were relegated to Division Two, but McGhee said he was used to inheriting backroom teams.
"Having someone with the immediate knowledge of Scottish football is going to be very important to me," he said.
Former Motherwell players Gary McAllister and Luc Nijholt, St Johnstone boss Owen Coyle, ex-Well manager Tommy McLean and former Clyde boss Joe Miller were all linked with the manager's job.
But majority shareholder John Boyle said: "Without a shadow of a doubt, he was the only person we offered the job to.
"When we interviewed him, his enthusiasm, his experience, his knowledge of football and his passion all stood head and shoulders above everyone else we spoke to."