Oct 21 2011 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
DEREK McInnes might regret not having a chance to bid farewell to St Johnstone fans but he’s ready to assist in the appointment of his successor.
At Bristol City yesterday, McInnes admitted heading for the Championship was “professionally the right decision to make.”
But he has offered to help Perth chairman Geoff Brown, who was toasting a trackwinner at Carlisle yesterday, in his search for a new boss.
“I had a really good relationship with my chairman and I’ll continue to have that,” he indicated. “I will give any help, guidance or advice that I can offer if asked. I’d be glad to help.
“I’ve left behind a very good club. A lot of hard work goes into it, there’s a lot of support and what we lacked in numbers we certainly didn’t lack in passion. I had a lot of good people that I worked with there.
“I’m only part of it and they’ve got the quality in the squad to kick on from where they are. I’m sure they’ll do that.”
While veteran Rangers and Scotland skipper David Weir is a 10/1 shot to begin his managerial career in the Fair City, bookies Stan James yesterday raised eyebrows by installing ex-Saints striker Graeme Jones as 10/3 favourite for the post after media speculation. But those odds are far from generous given his salary as number two at Premiership club Wigan and potential compensation, especially with Brown dismissing reports of a £500,000 deal with Bristol as “utter nonsense.”
Late in the day another former Saint, Gary Bollan, was backed down to 3/1 favourite and the guessing game will continue over the weekend.
Brian Reid at Ayr, who like Jim McIntyre at Dunfermline is a friend of McInnes, is at 4/1, while highly regarded ex-Saint Paul Sheerin at Arbroath shares that billing.
Weekend caretaker Alec Cleland is 5/1 to get the nod and Jody Morris has drifted to 6/1, with Raith Rovers John McGlynn a 7/1 shot.
Nick Dasovic, the former Saint with coaching experience with the Canadian U21 squad and Toronto would jump at the chance to return to Perth and he’s on an extensive list at 12/1.
John Hughes, Jim Jefferies and Billy Reid are all quoted, with Gary McAllister a 25/1 outsider. A dark horse not on the bookies list could be Colin Cameron, the rookie boss at Cowdenbeath.
But one thing is for sure, having listened to the clamour from fans when he appointed John Connolly, it will be back to trusting his own gut instinct and extensive homework as Geoff Brown, and son Steve, bid to follow on from Owen Coyle and McInnes, the two most impressive Perth managers since Paul Sturrock.
Brown, whose horse “Do it for Dalkey” romped home 17 lengths clear at 5/1 in its comeback, has stressed he won’t be rushed into an appointment. But he’ll hope to have a similar result by backing a managerial winner.