Alex Smith still has the hunger, even at 78 says Craig Sibbald

Smith has steered Sibbald to more than 250 games. Picture Michael Gillen.
Smith has steered Sibbald to more than 250 games. Picture Michael Gillen.

As a grandfatherly figure he’s protected Falkirk’s youth players making their way in the football world.

But when forced to step in and salvage Falkirk’s flailing season, Alex Smith changed says Craig Sibbald.

Alex Smith and Craig Sibbald. Picture Michael Gillen.

Alex Smith and Craig Sibbald. Picture Michael Gillen.

And it worked.

Smith turned the Bairns’ season around in his short spell in charge and showed the appetite for football that’s never left him.

“He got us our first win of this season and helped us turn it around.

INTERVIEW: When Alex Smith talks football, you listen

“He was still hungry for success and wins, even when he was the oldest manager in Europe - he still had that hunger in him.

“When he took over as manager he told us he’d have to change. Right now he floats around and has a laugh with the boys but as manager he got a bit more serious which was strange to start off with but you respect him so you listened to him and what he was trying to achieve - his team talks were quite long but you still took them all on board!”

Since then he’s still stayed around with Paul Hartley, passing on tips to the players like he always has.

“He’s been brilliant for me since I’ve been in the club. He has a real aura around the club and helped us through the hard times. It’s good having him around and giving wee tips – he has a real influence.

“I knew everyone respected him when I was coming through the Academy and that there was something about him.

“Steven Pressley proper respected him and made sure everyone listened to what he had to say. I’ve done that and tried to put it towards my game.

“He talks to me about tempo, when the game needs slowed down and when I need to speed it up. It’s just lots of wee things he spots and talks to you about.”