ALLOA Athletic manager Jack Ross has brushed off speculation linking him with the St Mirren job and insists he is fully focused on trying to pull off a massive cup shock against Celtic on Wednesday night.
The Wasps boss, who spent two years as a player at St Mirren, is amongst those in the frame to take over at the Buddies following the sacking of Alex Rae on Sunday.
Ross, who has steered Alloa to just one defeat so far this season, could be forgiven for longing for a shot at full-time management having impressed since taking over at Alloa in December after leaving his youth coach’s position at Hearts.
However, the 40-year-old is determined not to be distracted as he eyes the huge challenge of tomorrow’s trip to face the might of Celtic at Parkhead in the Betfred Cup quarter-finals.
He said: “I’ve been in the game long enough to know that you just don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but I like the job I’m doing at Alloa, I’m enjoying it and I like the club.”
Alloa defeated Inverness Caley Thistle in the last round and Ross County in the group stages to create history and become the first Wasps side to reach the last-eight of the competition in 51 years.
Ross added: “The new format means to get to this stage of the competition for a lower league team is difficult. You have to win an awful lot of games to get there.
“Most often when you get the chance to play against Celtic at Parkhead it’s because of the luck of the draw in the early stages.
“But we’ve had to win five matches, including two against Premiership and one against Championship teams, to get to this stage.
“So, that helps in terms of belief. If nothing else, we know we’ve been successful against top-flight teams this season.
“That will have no bearing on the match itself but from a mindset perspective it all helps.”
Few will give Alloa any hope of reaching the semi-finals of a major tournament for the first time ever but, riding high after making it 11 wins from 12 with Saturday’s 2-1 win over Queen’s Park, Ross is not about to write-off the chances of his League One leaders.
He said: “This is the toughest possible draw that any of the teams left in the competition could have got, not just us being a League One team.
“To draw the Scottish champions is tough, but to do that away from home makes it even more difficult.
“It is the absolutely toughest challenge we’ve had but it’s not an impossible one – it’s a difficult one, but not impossible.”