Jack Ross: Craig Levein thought I was no longer a fit at Hearts
Speaking to BBC’s Sportsound on Thursday evening, the St Mirren boss was cordial in explaining his exit from Tynecastle without naming the club’s director of football Craig Levein, making reference to “the person who runs the football department”.
The 40-year-old left the club in October 2015 after just over a year managing Hearts’ under-20s. Prior to confirmation of his departure Ross had been asked to take time away from the club to consider his future.
“There’s a football department there and the football department decided I was no longer the right fit for the structure and how they wanted to progress the club which is fair enough,” he told Sportsound. “That happens in football all the time, it happened in my playing career.
“He’s in charge of the football department and he makes decisions that he thinks are best for the club. I have no issue with that, it’s part of football. Subsequently, it would be the same if the chairman or the board at St Mirren felt if I wasn’t the right fit for that club any longer.
He added: “(It was) fair in the respect that the football department and the person who runs the football department felt I wasn’t the right fit. As much as I could argue and say I felt as if I was it’s not my decision. How it has panned out for me since has been good.”
Ross doesn’t look back on the period with regret, claiming the time at Tynecastle was beneficial in his development as a coach, preparing him for a step into management.
He was appointed manager of Alloa Athletic in December 2015 before making the move to St Mirren, who he remarkably kept in the Championship this season.
“The 15 months I spent there were terrific for me in terms of my own development,” Ross acknowledged. “I got to witness working first hand at a really big club. I was fortunate to be there through a really successful period for the club as well.
“I worked very closely with Robbie (Neilson) and Stevie Crawford during that period and witnessed how he dealt with it as a young manager as well. These experiences stood me in very good stead when I got the opportunity to manage in my own right at Alloa (Atheltic) and then subsequently St Mirren.
“I always thought I could manage, I believed I could have done it straight from playing. Would I have been able to deal with the pressures I’ve had to deal with at St Mirren this season? Probably not. That period of my career has been hugely beneficial as well.”