Barry Smith focused on Alloa despite St Mirren job

Barry Smith 'won't make the first move' to become the new St Mirren boss. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Barry Smith 'won't make the first move' to become the new St Mirren boss. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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ALLOA boss Barry Smith insists he will not make the first move to become the next St Mirren manager.

The former Dundee captain is among the leading contenders to replace Tommy Craig, who was axed on Tuesday.

But Saints chairman Stewart Gilmour has suggested he will only consider candidates who apply directly to the club to become Craig’s successor.

He told STV on Tuesday night: “We will look at who puts themselves forward to us for the job and then take it from there.”

Smith - who was born and raised in Paisley - is his desperate to return to full-time management after his three-year stint in charge at Dens Park.

But the 40-year-old is adamant he will only consider a switch back to his home town if the Buddies make a formal approach to Wasps chairman Mike Mulraney.

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Smith said: “There’s not much to say at the minute because I am the manager of Alloa. The chairman said yesterday that there has been no approach from St Mirren.

“So I don’t think there’s much else to say because that would be disrespectful to Alloa.

“The one thing I would say though is that I would like to get back to full-time management one day - but it would have to be done in the correct manner.”

Despite his reluctance to throw his hat in the ring, a number of bookmakers insists Smith is among the frontrunners for the post.

Veteran player/coach Gary Teale will take the team for this Sunday’s clash with Celtic after he was handed the reigns on an interim basis.

But the former Scotland winger has already admitted he is “definitely” keen to land the job permanently.

Current club captain Steven Thompson has also admitted the post would be hard to turn down if it was offered to him, while it is understood former Love Street favourite and ex-Scotland Under-21 boss Billy Stark is extremely interested in the position.

Smith’s reputation has gone sky high since masterminding the part-time Championship strugglers’ shock Petrofac Training Cup win over Rangers last week.

The former Celtic defender’s first taste of management came when he was appointed boss of administration-hit Dundee in 2010.

Despite being hit with a massive 25-point penalty, Smith led his team on a club record 23-game unbeaten streak as they clinched First Division survival.

Rangers’ liquidation crisis eventually saw Dundee promoted back to the top-flight in 2012 despite only finishing second.

But Smith was given little time to reshape his squad and was sacked the following January with his side 15 points adrift at the foot of the table.

He would face another difficult task if he does end up taking over at St Mirren, though.

Only goal difference is keeping the Buddies off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership after 11 defeats out of 15 fixtures so far.

“I am employed by Alloa and I’m enjoying being here,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t have aspirations of being a full-time manager.

“I only get two nights a week to prepare my team as things stand with Alloa and that can be difficult.

“The majority of young, part-time managers would like to be full-time and I’m no different to anyone else.

“But there is no decision to be made right now because I’m fully focused on Alloa.”

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