St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin is fully aware he and his fellow bosses are only ever “two or three games away from a crisis” as he reflected on the departure of Jack Ross.
Goodwin will take on Hibs on Saturday minus Ross and his assistant, John Potter, after the Easter Road club sacked their head coach on the back of defeat by Livingston.
Seven defeats in nine cinch Premiership matches meant Ross’ previous record of finishing third last season and reaching at least the semi-finals of every cup competition – with a Premier Sports Cup final to come next week – counted for little in the eyes of Hibs owner Ron Gordon.
Goodwin played under Ross at Alloa and then succeeded him as Wasps manager before St Mirren came in to take him.
“First and foremost I am extremely disappointed for Jack,” the Irishman said. “I have got a personal relationship with Jack, his assistant manager John Potter is an ex-team mate of mine and so is Craig Samson, who is goalkeeping coach there.
“I feel for Jack, it’s a difficult position that he found himself in, not on a great run of form and probably a victim of his own success last season.
“Having done so well, I think the Hibs supporters and board, and Jack included, would have expected them to kick on after that and unfortunately it hasn’t been the case.”
Goodwin, whose side have not won in eight matches and sit two points below Hibs, added: “That’s the industry that we are in. Every football manager knows you are only two or three games away from a crisis.
“The job is not for everyone. I have played with a number of players who decided to go down the assistant manager role, or a scouting role, or video analysis, because they simply don’t fancy the challenge of being a manager.
“There’s a number of pundits out there who are very successful at the job they are doing but could have gone down the coaching route and didn’t quite fancy it.
“We do it because we love the buzz, we like the control aspect and the tactical side of the game, and obviously that matchday excitement that you get on the touchline. But you have to win games.
“And when you do go on a poor run of form, the pressure does build.
“We are in a similar situation ourselves here, albeit we are not quite at the crisis stage yet. But we need to start winning games. It’s as simple as that.”
Goodwin pointed out that his side were third in the table for shots at goal, corners and passes into the final third, but admitted those statistics mean nothing to some people.
“I am quite fortunate here, I have a decent relationship with the board and a very good, close working relationship with (chief executive) Tony Fitzpatrick,” he added.
“Tony can see the good things that we are doing behind the scenes and can see the progress we are making on the pitch, albeit the points don’t reflect that.
“He is an experienced man in football, who has been on both sides of the fence, and played at a top, top level. We have good dialogue.
“I do the recruitment, I pick the team, I do the work on the training pitch with the players, it’s my responsibility when results don’t happen.
“We are not in that situation yet where we have lost four or five games on the spin but at the same time we have a difficult run of fixtures coming up, we have Hibs, Celtic and Rangers in the next three.”
Saints will be without Eamonn Brophy against Hibs but the injury he picked up in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat by Aberdeen is “nothing major”.
“It’s a grade one strain on the hamstring which can take anything from two to four weeks,” Goodwin added.
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