DEREK Adams insists he will never be easily dazzled by the allure of big clubs with big histories – and even bigger debts.
As the Ross County boss secured back-to-back Clydesdale Bank Premier League Manager of the Month awards yesterday, it was easy to conclude that Adams’ stock has never been higher. The 37-year-old became the first non-Old Firm manager in SPL history to collect three of the awards in a single season.
County stand on the brink of top-six qualification in their maiden campaign, with European qualification still a genuine possibility.
Linked repeatedly with jobs at Aberdeen, Dundee United and clubs south of the border, Adams remains a bookies’ favourite to be off in the summer. Strangely, then, the talk yesterday was of possibly extending a Ross County contract that still has another full year to run.
County are understood to have already made moves in that direction, with the offer of a further two-year extension.
For all of his burning ambitions, the SPL’s youngest manager clearly values what he has – and has built – at Ross County and wouldn’t give it up lightly. In his eyes, the grass is not always greener elsewhere – certainly not when it comes to the harsh realities of the current SPL.
The County manager said: “There is talk here at the club about a new contract. I’ve got a year of my contract to run here and I am more than delighted with the progress we are making. We have already proved the club is ambitious and the players have shown it on the park.
“There are a lot of clubs with a lot of history but they don’t have the balance sheet like Ross County or are run like this club. That’s one of the reasons we’ve been successful. We haven’t spent money we don’t have, unlike a lot of clubs in Scottish football.
“As for speculation, I just get on with my work. I enjoy working here. I’m able to do what I want to do by running a football club and I’ll not get that, I know, at many places. It’s like David Moyes at Everton. He has been able to move that club on for the last ten years and make them the club they are.
“Bill Kenwright has allowed him to do that. My chairman and the director of football here have allowed me to do that as well. A lot of other football clubs have a lot of opinions.
“It is vital that the football manager is able to have control if he is doing the right thing well. There are a lot of clubs with a lot of history, but that’s what they have just now. We’ve got a football club that is up-and-coming and competing at the highest level.”
Clutching the managerial award, Adams stressed that it was down to the efforts of the entire club. He said: “It has been a great season for Ross County. In February, we had four wins and a draw to put ourselves in a great position with nine games remaining.
“Now we want to finish in the top six if possible. I wouldn’t get these awards without the help of a lot of people at the club and it’s the players who have to go out and do it on the pitch. They have done well all season and especially in recent weeks. There’s been some outstanding performances.
“The club has come on leaps and bounds and we are now enjoying being in the SPL. I’ve been here five years in May and this is what we have worked for, right from our days in the Second Division. I didn’t think we would be in this situation in terms of points in the SPL, but we are certainly enjoying it.”