Steven Ferguson is determined to succeed where he and fellow co-manager Stuart Kettlewell could not two years ago by keeping Ross County in the Premiership.
Ferguson and Kettlewell capped two years in their joint-role in charge of the Staggies on Monday, after replacing Owen Coyle with 10 matches of the 2017-18 season remaining – when the Staggies were three points adrift at the foot of the Premiership.
Although Ferguson and Kettlewell were unable to prevent the Staggies’ relegation, chairman Roy MacGregor’s decision to put faith in the pair for last season’s Championship campaign paid off when they steered County to promotion at the first time of asking.
Ferguson feels he and Kettlewell, who both previously had roles within County’s youth setup, have learned from the harsh experience of suffering the drop so early in their managerial careers.
Ferguson said: “We don’t reflect too much on our two years. Any manager will tell you it’s always a whirlwind and it has been full of stuff we have enjoyed.
“It has been a heck of a challenge but we are thoroughly enjoying it and grateful for the position we’re in.
“When we took over we had 10 games to go and didn’t quite manage to keep the team in the Premiership, although we gave the chairman enough of an idea to show we can bring the team back up from the Championship and thankfully we did.
“That fight against relegation was a sink or swim environment and you can get gobbled up by it or navigate around what’s thrown at you, so when relegation comes there is a huge turnaround of players and with any change of manager there is that shift as well.
“We must deal with that and ensure you get what you need to be successful and we did that by winning the Championship and IRN-BRU Cup.”
County have 10 games still to play this term but are in a far better position than when Ferguson and Kettlewell took on the job, with the Dingwall men sitting ninth in the table.
Ferguson says survival remains the Staggies’ target, adding: “Every day is a school day and we’re learning all the time, every day and every week.
“We are equally enjoying the challenge of trying to stay in the Premiership because that has always been the aim this season. We will continue to fight our corner in that aspect.
“Our biggest task, and the one Stuart and I will deem every bit as successful, will be if we manage to keep the team in the league this year.”
County make the trip to Motherwell tonight, with Ferguson wary of reading too far into the Lanarkshire side’s recent lack of form.
He added: “It’s very difficult to put a run of results together and you can very easily fall into a period where you don’t pick up a win in a number of games. Motherwell have not won in eight but they are still third. That tells you about this league.”