St Mirren want new boss Alan Stubbs to emulate Steve Clarke

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St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott has hailed Alan Stubbs as a “perfect” managerial appointment who is capable of emulating the transformational effect Steve Clarke had on Kilmarnock.

Former Hibs manager Stubbs was formally unveiled by St Mirren yesterday after agreeing a three-year contract as successor to Jack Ross, who left the Paisley club to take charge of Sunderland.

Alan Stubbs will manage in the top flight for the first time after being officially unveiled as the new St Mirren boss. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS

Alan Stubbs will manage in the top flight for the first time after being officially unveiled as the new St Mirren boss. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS

Scott was overwhelmed by the level of interest shown in the vacancy, including high-profile potential candidates such as former Real Madrid midfielder Guti.

But Scott is convinced Stubbs is the right man for St Mirren as they prepare for their return to the Premiership after a three-year absence.

Scott believes Stubbs could even lead Saints to a top-six finish at the first attempt in the same manner as achieved by Kilmarnock under Clarke’s guidance. “We’ve got every chance of being up there this season,” said Scott. “If Kilmarnock can do it, then why can’t we? It’s not a target we’re setting but if we could end up top six, I’d be delighted.

“Alan ticks every box in terms of the football we want to play and the experience we’re looking for in a manager,
so he’s perfect for us.

“The first target is obviously to stay in the league but I just want to enjoy my football and entertain the fans and bring supporters back.

“The difference between finishing seventh and ninth, for example, isn’t much in terms of prize money. It’s barely an extra player. But if you play good football and get a couple of thousand extra fans through the door, then it’s financially better.

“I’d rather enjoy my football and stay in the league than be bored every week. I can’t stress enough the emphasis on entertaining. It’s an entertainment industry. I’d rather enjoy my football and finish ninth than be bored to tears and finish seventh.

“The interest we had in the post was flattering but, realistically, you’re not going to bring those type of guys in because it might work for a couple of months or a year but won’t last long term.

“We’re trying to build something long term. It’s all right being up one season and down the next but we’re looking for something that will be sustainable. The three-year deal with Alan shows a commitment from both of us. He wants to achieve something and build here. That’s important.”