Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade admits he is flattered to be linked with the vacant West Brom job - but insists at the moment he only has eyes for the O’s.
Slade’s achievements this season, guiding unfancied Orient to third in League One and into the play-off final, have not gone unnoticed with reports claiming he is on the Baggies’ shortlist to replace Pepe Mel.
But the 53-year-old insists he is only focused on Sunday’s Wembley showdown with Rotherham and leading the east Londoners into the Championship.
“I think it means that, other than my chairman banging on about how good I am, it’s appreciated in other quarters the kind of job we have done here,” he said.
“It’s nice to be recognised for what we have done, with no money, and had a relatively successful season.
“It’s nice to be linked to a Premier League club when you are a League One manager. There are some really talented managers outside the Premier League, under people’s noses, but they don’t get recognised.
“But the total focus is my football club. It’s speculation and I just want to get us into the Championship.”
Slade is the fourth longest serving boss in the Football League having taken over at Brisbane Road in 2010.
He puts his longevity down to being able to run the club the way he wants, and with minimal interference from chairman Barry Hearn.
“I have a two-year deal here and the great thing about this club is, and it’s not all about pounds and pence, but it’s that I’m able to manage this football club, to put my stamp on it.
“I think we’ve had one board meeting in four-and-a-half years!
“Barry speaks to me once a week on the phone, we get on very well, and I see him on matchdays when we’re at home.
“But within the constraints I am able to run the club the way I want to run it, with my staff and my players, and try to move it forward and I think I’ve done that.
“In today’s modern game I’m thankful to be able to do that.
“Of course everyone has ambitions and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to manage at the highest level. But in the short term I want to be a manager in the Championship with this club.”