GARY TEALE, the former St Mirren manager, has accused the club of lacking ambition in the wake of their latest managerial casualty, while urging them to back the next man charged with turning their fortunes around.
Ian Murray was the fourth head coach in the space of two years to leave Paisley, the 34-year-old falling on his sword following a 1-0 defeat away to his old club Dumbarton that leaves them four points off the foot of the Ladbrokes Championship table.
It was a tenure that didn’t even last seven months as only two league wins from a possible 16 led their manager to walk away from the position that was previously held by Teale.
The ex-Scotland winger had hoped that he would be chosen to remain in the position before the club’s board decided to go in a different direction with Murray. Now those in charge at St Mirren must begin their search once more of finding the right candidate to deliver a team on the pitch that will deliver the success they seek and return them to the top flight at the first time of asking. And as they start that familiar process once more, Teale has urged them to choose wisely and give their new man the support to thrive in the job.
“Ideally as a manager you always want money available for your player recruitment. I learned that very, very quickly,” the 37-year-old told HeraldSport.
“You take the job knowing how much finance is there for you so you can’t complain too much, but I don’t think the club, in terms of them trying to sell it, have that much ambition to try and progress forward really.”
Relating to his own experience of the club supporting him during his spell as caretaker boss, Teale explained: “It wasn’t in terms of money it was just really Kenny McLean. When you sell your best player and top goal scorer in January – who is still your top scorer at the end of the season – who is now performing at Aberdeen, I think everyone understands what I had to work under.
“You also had Ross County and Motherwell to who were strengthening their squads.
“If we had kept Kenny we might have ended up closer. In the end we were only six points off a play-off place. Having more money would have been great, but that one alone I think would have given us a better opportunity.”
Teale refused to be drawn on questions regarding what has gone wrong under Murray, respectfully stating that it was not his position to comment. However, the former Scotland manager cannot help but wonder what might have been if he had still been in charge.
While he will be credited as the manager who went down with the St Mirren ship last season, a lot of damage was done by the time the former Wigan man inherited Tommy Craig’s team this time last year that left the rookie caretaker coach with an uphill task.
“You never know for certain,” he said.
“From a personal point of view, you feel as if you might have been able to make a difference. You can’t say that it would have definitely happened, but I felt that having been in the job five or six months I knew what the club had to do going forward.
“In the end Ian came in with maybe fresh ideas, having to get to know the players and the place. I thought I may have been a little bit ahead in that sense, but there’s nothing written in stone to say I’d have been a success. You just need to trust your own beliefs that you could have made a difference.”
Teale has yet to find a way back into the game since he left Paisley at the end of last season, and the former St Mirren man insists he would not rule out a return if an opportunity ever presented itself.
But no matter who the next man is to take charge on a permanent basis, whether young or old, experienced or not, stability is the key to getting St Mirren back to where he and those around the club believe it should be.
Teale said: “It’s a hard one because I enjoyed my time at the club. I’d have loved to have been in that position. I think I would have progressed it forward because I had an understanding of where it needed to go, but they chose to go in another direction.
“Now they look like they need to try something else again. I think they need a bit of stability and give a bit of time to whoever is in charge, and a bit of backing as well.
“I don’t think there are a million things wrong. Sitting here as a young manager, you need an opportunity. Experience is good but youth brings a lot of enthusiasm and some fresh ideas.
“Ultimately they just need to get things right and put a structure in place. You have to have a plan and know how you are going to do it, whether it’s a young manager or an experienced one.”