The Football League Paper - - FA CUP THIRD ROUND - By Paul Ed­di­son

ALAN Smith ex­pects yes­ter­day’s clash with More­cambe to be his only game in charge of Notts County af­ter tak­ing over as care­taker-man­ager fol­low­ing John Sheri­dan’s sack­ing.

The former Leeds and Manch­ester United star, 36, has been work­ing as a player-coach since ar­riv­ing at Meadow Lane in 2014, and took tem­po­rary charge of the team fol­low­ing Sheri­dan’s dis­missal.

Gary McAl­lis­ter is the book­ies’ favourite to suc­ceed Sheri­dan due to his close re­la­tion­ship to new owner Alan Hardy, even though he has not been in man­age­ment since 2008.

How­ever, David Fl­itcroft and Justin Ed­in­burgh are un­der­stood to be the lead­ing con­tenders for the job, with Mark Robins an out­side bet.

Lin­coln’s Danny Cow­ley is be­lieved to have been ap­proached for the role but re­buffed the Mag­pies’ ad­vances to stick with the Na­tional League Imps.

In the mean­time, Smith spoke to Sheri­dan af­ter tak­ing the care­taker role and ad­mits he found him­self in a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion try­ing to bal­ance his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

He said: “It’s quite dif­fi­cult be­cause there’s so much you want to try and im­ple­ment. But I’ve got to re­mem­ber I’m still a player – the dress­ing room is still where I be­long.

“I don’t want to iso­late my­self from the lads who I play with week in, week out. I just want to in­stil some be­lief that they are ac­tu­ally good play­ers.

“When things are go­ing wrong some­times peo­ple try that lit­tle bit too hard. It’s a fine line.

“We were asked to take over, but I spoke to John first out of re­spect for him. He said to me ‘just be your­self, and hope­fully they will re­spond for you’.

“You never take over these po­si­tions when things are go­ing well. It’s tinged with dis­ap­point­ment be­cause John was some­body I re­spected a lot.”

CARE­TAKER: Alan Smith

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