New Dundee United manager Jack Ross says he’s looking forward to the challenge of delivering sustained success to the club during his time in charge.
Ross was appointed to replace Tam Courts and joins a club that finished fourth in the table last season on their return to the Premiership and has a place in the Europa Conference League qualifying.
He says that taking the club forward on all fronts is a task he’s eager to take on, and that he’s joining a club that’s heading in the right direction already.
“It’s always a privilege to manage a club of this size and stature and history,” he said.
“When you come out of a job you wait for the right opportunity, if you can, and this certainly has felt like that.
“I think it’s a club that’s on an upward trajectory. What they achieved last season was terrific, on the back of being promoted and stabilising.
“The challenge for me is not an easy one because it’s about delivering a period of sustained success. But it’s more than capable of doing that as a football club. So I’m looking forward to embrace that challenge.”
Ross has been out of the game for six months after being sacked by Hibs in December just days before the League Cup final and was linked with other jobs before agreeing to take the reins at Tannadice. He told STV that he was in a position that he could think about his next move but had the right feeling about United from their first contact.
“There’s an instinct sometimes with it,” he said. “Then you start to do your own homework and research about where the club is at and where it can get to.
“Potential is a big thing for me. I think the room for growth and success and improvement is important. People judge that in different ways but undoubtedly that is here at the moment. I think the club has ambitions to continue to get better and improve in all aspects of what it does.
“The part I’m judged on is obviously what happens on pitch but in terms of the infrastructure and pushing boundaries and wanting to improve, there’s a willingness and want to do that. That was a big attraction.
“A big part of the attraction of taking the role was because people would believe there was more pressure because the team had a successful period last season. Ultimately it’s about trying to deliver that sustained success.”
Ross will now get down to the work of preparing the team for next season, and says he will take the lead on recruitment but will be supported by sporting director Tony Asghar as he looks to enhance his squad. He says the club are looking to make moves quickly and conceded it was “natural” that he had been linked with players he had worked with before, including striker Christian Doidge.
The first test for the new manager will come in the Europa Conference League qualifiers though, and United will learn their first opponents at the third round draw on July 18.
Ross added: “I had experience of managing in Europe last season which I loved because it was very different but really, really enjoyable. You want to try and stay in that level of competition for as long as you can because it is brilliant not just for players and staff but for the supporters.
“It gives them something very different to look forward to and there are two ways of doing that: staying in the competition or get there again through your league placing or cup competitions.
“There’s a challenge of keeping us in that position in the league but there’s also an onus and expectation at Dundee United to go deep into cup competitions and give yourself a chance of winning silverware.
“You might think you’re putting pressure on yourself by saying that but I wanted to come somewhere, and I have always been at clubs where I set ambitions and targets and it will remain the same here.”