East Fife manager Barry Smith has insisted his Ladbrokes League 1 Manager of the Month award for December belongs to his players rather than himself.
Smith was given the accolade despite only being appointed the Fifers’ manager on December 13, but three consecutive wins since taking charge have set him apart from every other coach in the division.
And after conceding just one goal in four matches in December, Smith has lavished praise on his in-form squad.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News, he said: “It is nice to get a little bit of recognition, but having just come into the job, a lot of the credit has to go to the players.
“They’ve gave me everything in their performances since I’ve come in which has resulted in the run we’ve been on, so a lot of the credit must go down to them more than anybody else and I’m delighted with the way they’ve went about their business, more than myself.
“I knew some of the players and I knew a few of them had played at a higher level, but the work rate and work ethic is something that wins half the battle right away.
“Their attitude towards training and playing has been excellent since I come in.
“We don’t look any further ahead than Saturday’s game against Airdrie. I think it can be too easy to get ahead of yourself and pick up points before playing games. We’re simply always concentrating on the next game and we’ll do that throughout and see where it takes us. ”
Smith took over at Bayview following a spell in English football with Aldershot Town and while the 42-year-old is fully focused on his current job, he admits a second spell down south isn’t out of the question.
He explained: “The reason I came back up was for family reasons. Due to family circumstances, we decided it was best to come back up the road.
“Would I like to go back down? Well, it’s dependant on whether my family would want to go down, because they’re the most important thing to me.
“But it was a good experience, and I keep in touch with the directors at Aldershot.
“They know what I did for the club when they were going through a sticky patch and the effect I had on the club and everything I did. Yes, I’d like to go back down, but at the moment I’m concentrating fully on what I’m doing at East Fife and it seems to be going well at the moment.
“I went to Dundee and went to Alloa and had success there, but do I want to get back into full-time management? Of course I do, but I’ll only do that if I’m successful here. All my thoughts are on doing well for East Fife.”
East Fife are priced at 12/5 to make it six wins on the spin when they travel to take on Airdrieonians this weekend.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing