02 May Pressures of relegation battle and title race a good grounding, says Jack Ross
Jack Ross believes dealing with triumph and near disaster so early in his St Mirren career will benefit him in the long run.
The 41-year-old was on Sunday night named PFA Scotland manager of the year after leading the Buddies to the Ladbrokes Championship title this season.
The accolade came 18 months after taking over with the Paisley club bottom of the same division and having to battle for survival.
Ross acknowledged the contrasting pressures, but insists they can make him an even better boss.
He said: “I don’t think you think of it as fortunate at the time, but to have the relegation battle we had in the manner in which we had to go right to the last game, and then having this season, it has been very different pressures.
“This season was most challenging I think because you almost felt you had something to lose because we were so close to the title.
“It is very different to being in relegation trouble when you have nothing to lose almost.
“Dealing with those different pressures very early on in my managerial career has been good and hopefully it stands me in good stead moving forward.”
Ross insists he will not be settling simply for survival next season.
The former Alloa boss said: “How we set our ambition and goals, it will be beyond simply staying in the league.
“You have to do that. That is not to underestimate how difficult it will be, to be progressive in it.
“You have to build a squad that can do that.
“This season was about building a squad that could win the Championship and we did that.
“Now we have to build one that can be competitive and progressive in the Premiership.
“There is different challenges to that, but the process has started and hopefully when we report back in mid-June we will be in a healthy position in terms of having a squad that can deal with that.
“It is about challenging ourselves to try to keep achieving rather than accepting this as being the highest point for us and that is a challenge for me personally as well.”