Walter Smith rejects approach from Wolves

 

Wolves are resuming their frustrating search to replace sacked manager Mick McCarthy after Walter Smith became the latest high-profile candidate to reject the job.

Caretaker boss Terry Connor will be in charge for Saturday's game at Newcastle after Smith turned down the opportunity to take charge for the final 13 games of the season.

It leaves former Sunderland, Birmingham and Wigan boss Steve Bruce as the bookmakers' favourite although he is not interested in taking the job just for the remainder of the campaign.

It is believed Wolves have also sounded out their former manager Dave Jones as a possible short-term appointment.

Smith had already passed up the opportunity to take over from McCarthy on a long time basis earlier in the week.

His rejection follows on from Alan Curbishley turning down a second approach while they failed in moves for Reading's Brian McDermott and Brighton's Gus Poyet

Smith said: "I'm not going (to Wolves). I was totally unsure whether I really wanted to do it or not. It was a purely personal thing, nothing to do with Wolves.

"There was never a face-to-face meeting and we never discussed finance. If someone asks you, you're pleased to be asked.

"But the longer you think about it, you start to ask yourself whether it was right."

Former Leeds, Portsmouth and Brighton striker Connor, who has been at Wolves for 13 years, admitted he would eventually like to move into management.

But he insists all his current focus is on preparing the side for the trip to the Sports Direct Arena.

Connor said: "I have worked all my life to try and better myself. I've been a player, youth team, reserve team, assistant manager and been on my courses for management.

"I've worked towards possibly being a manager someday but right now I'm employed by the club as assistant manager.

"They want to appoint a new manager and I'm just looking after things until decisions have been made.

"The club have asked me to look after it until Saturday. Let's just go to Saturday and see what happens."

Connor has called for club owner Steve Morgan and chief executive Jez Moxey to be given time to make the right appointment.

He said: "They have to make the right decision. Just because something doesn't happen in one day as the media or fans would like, it doesn't mean they should rush into something they may regret later down the line.

"They are the custodians of the club and it's up to them to take whatever time it needs to make sure the club moves forward and make the right decision at the right time."

Connor also declined to comment on whether Jones would be the right appointment.

He said: "I worked with Dave, had success with Dave, he took us to the Premier League in 2003 but that is something that should be directed to Jez and Steve.

"The criteria is to stay in the Premier League and they want to give themselves the best chance of staying up."

PA

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