Steven Ferguson says a determination not to let down Ross County is the main driving force for himself and fellow co-manager Stuart Kettlewell.
Ferguson and Kettlewell have completed their first 12 months in the job after replacing Owen Coyle, initially on an interim basis, before being given the job by chairman Roy MacGregor in April.
Although the pair were unable to keep County in the Premiership, the Staggies have suffered no hangover in the second tier.
The Dingwall men are five points clear at the top, with a game in hand over nearest challengers Dundee United, and on course for a quick top-flight return.
Ferguson, pictured, and Kettlewell both played for the Staggies before occupying roles within the club’s youth set-up, with Ferguson having been academy director and Kettlewell steering the club’s under-20s to the Development League title in 2017.
Ferguson says the long association with the Highlanders brings added pressure to succeed.
He added: “The most rewarding thing is having the honour of managing a club I’ve got so much respect for and such a big connection with. I would imagine Stuart would be exactly the same.
“It can work two ways, as there can be that over-familiarity because we both played a number of games for the club. We have done different coaching roles, so this is just another layer to that.
“Stuart and I understand this is the top job – you do all the other things to hopefully get the chance.
“Neil Lennon spoke last week about how it’s an absolute pleasure to manage the club he’s associated with after going back to Celtic and Stuart and I feel that as well.
“With that also comes the pressure of not wanting to let anybody down and not wanting to fail and that’s what drives us on. We don’t want to tarnish our club in any way, so we try to do it right and time will tell whether we have or not.”
Ferguson says he and Kettlewell are relishing the challenge of taking their first footsteps in management, adding: “We didn’t pretend we were something we weren’t – neither of us had managed at this level before.
“We have coached and taken teams before, but there is a lot more to the job than that as we have found out.
“Sometimes you are learning on the job, but if you are passionate like Stuart and I, and you are willing to learn, listen, but also make mistakes, you learn quicker. That’s what we are trying to do. We are privileged to be in this role.”