ELATED Ayr United interim boss Sandy Stewart heaped praise on his team after his time in charge got off to a dream start on Saturday.

But the Somerset Park coach is staying tight-lipped on his chances of being appointed permanent manager.

The Honest Men defeated Arbroath 3-0 away from home and are second in the Ladbrokes Championship, behind Dundee United only on goal difference.

They have now won six out of seven games and this weekend gear up to face an Inverness Caley Thistle side who will be hurting following a shock 3-1 home defeat against former Ayr boss Ian McCall’s Partick Thistle side.

Stewart, who has Kenny Brannigan as his assistant, has been put in charge for three games although the job has been opened up to other applicants.

He said: “Arbroath is a difficult place to go as they are not a bad side so it was a good win for us. Daniel Harvie did well down the flanks and linked up really well with Alan Forrest. Michael Moffat had a great game. It’s no surprise that Ross Doohan, Harvie and Stephen Kelly have been doing well with Scotland Under-21s. Mark Kerr has been a great help and is my link with the players.”

Stewart said he was impressed with the reaction of the players following what was a challenging week after McCall’s departure.

He said: “They responded really well and just got on with things as they have been. I know them all from working with them at training anyway. It was a good result but if you’re at the top of the table you must keep being consistent. We look forward to the Inverness game although it’s unfortunate this game is the only one in a run of four which is at home.”

Asked his thoughts on the manager’s job, Stewart said: “The chairman has told me he is inviting applications and I have no problem with that. I’m keeping my cards very close to my chest. All I can do is take it game by game and we’re now fully preparing for Saturday.”