Saints appoint Cleland & Morris
Duo will manage St Johnstone against Dundee United on Saturday
By Subhankar Mondal. Last Updated: October 20, 2011 5:44pm
Jody Morris: Midfielder will also be in charge of managing the team against Dundee United on Saturday
St Johnstone have appointed their Under-19 coach Alec Cleland and captain Jody Morris as caretaker managers for their away game against Dundee United in the Scottish Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
The Perth-based club made the announcement on Thursday following the departure of manager Derek McInnes and his assistant Tony Docherty to English Championship club Bristol City.
"With Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty having been unveiled as the new management team at Bristol City this morning, the attention of everyone at McDiarmid Park is focused on ensuring that there is continuity in St Johnstone team affairs and the club can announce this afternoon that Alec Cleland and Jody Morris will be jointly in charge of the team for Saturday's Tayside derby against Dundee United at Tannadice," reads a statement on the Saints' official website.
"Under-19 coach Alec and club captain Jody took charge of training at Stirling this morning and reported a 'positive, buoyant' atmosphere as the players look to build on the solid form shown in the opening quarter of the SPL campaign.
"With the club keen to ensure that the correct person is selected as successor to McInnes, the situation will be fully considered next week but for the moment the focus is very firmly on Saturday's game."
St Johnstone are currently fifth in the league table with 18 points from 11 matches.
Meanwhile, McInnes, who was officially unveiled as the City boss on Thursday, has thanked the Scottish club for helping him launch his managerial career and is confident that they will continue to progress even without him.
"I see myself as having had three distinct groups of players in my time at the club and all have been fantastic," he told St Johnstone's official website.
"The current group have been absolutely first class.
"We are sad to be leaving but myself and Tony at least have the satisfaction of leaving the club on a healthy footing
"But that's not just down to us. It's down to the staff behind the scenes at the club, the board of directors, the supporters and especially the players. All of those people have been brilliant to work with.
"I'm confident that the club will go from strength to strength and nobody will be more delighted than me if that is the case."
The 40-year-old added: "Obviously it's a real opportunity for me to develop as a manager and professionally it is the right thing to do but that doesn't mean it has been an easy decision.
"When you have been at a club as long as I was at Saints you create a bond with people and those bonds are not easy to break.
"I'll always be indebted to Saints and to Geoff Brown and Stewart Duff in particular who guided me through the transition from player to manager at the club and made it easier than it might otherwise have been."