Wellington interim boss Chris Greenacre insists there’s nothing but Newcastle on his mind as he enters his third game in charge.
Wellington co-coaches Des Buckingham, left, and Chris Greenacre.
Greenacre, alongside co-coach Des Buckingham, has obtained four points from six in his two A-League games against Central Coast and Western Sydney. Replacing ex-boss Ernie Merrick a fortnight ago, the British duo are both being considered for the permanent top job, as a pair and individually.
Greenacre, whose side will travel to Newcastle on Christmas Day for their Boxing Day clash with the Jets, said he had no interest in speculation about the job.
He and Buckingham were simply keen to get their side in shape for a tough match against the fifth-placed Novocastrians.
“The media circus surrounding it, I’m fully aware of it but it’s just not me and I’ve got a job to do alongside Des,” Greenacre said. “It’s the Jets on the horizon, and that’s the nature of it.”
Recent reports from New Zealand have also linked at least three unnamed European coaches to the Nix job.
Others in line for the role, which is now unlikely to be filled before Christmas, include Auckland City boss Ramon Tribulietx, Mark Rudan and Luciano Trani.
The coaches’ decision to both change team formation and re-sign striker Shane Smeltz suggests they’ve been given a chance to stamp their own mark.
Greenacre said it was always in the club’s plans, including during the reign of Merrick, to hold funds over for January acquisitions.
Smeltz will be eligible to play for his new side, where he previously scored 21 goals in 39 A-League games, from January 5 against Perth.
“If I was a coach coming in, signing Smeltz would be a welcome addition, I think,” Greenacre said.
“You always need goalscorers in your team.”
The 35-year-old Smeltz, for his part, said he didn’t need any assurances about the future Nix coach before signing on the dotted line.
He was keen to contribute to the side’s A-League run-in after a short stint in Malaysian football for Kedah FA.
“Going forward, I’m signing with the football club,” Smeltz said.
“I wasn’t too concerned with what’s happened in the past.”