Jack Burroughs believes he can thrive under the trusted leadership of manager Malky Mackay during his loan stint at Ross County.
Midfielder Burroughs has joined the Staggies on a season-long loan from English Championship side Coventry City, and made his debut as a substitute in Sunday’s 3-0 Premiership defeat to Hibernian.
Although he was born in England, Burroughs qualifies to play for Scotland, who he has represented at under-19 and under-21 level.
With Mackay having overseen the Scots’ youth setup during his time as Scottish FA performance director, Burroughs feels he is in the right place to develop both his club and international careers.
Burroughs said: “I was in the Scotland youth set-up, so I have been around the manager when he was overseeing all the youth sides. That was a big thing for me to want to come up here.
“I enjoyed the time working with him and look forward to working with him again this season. It is a great club in a great league.
“Ever since I’ve been in the Scotland set-up, it has been an aim to come up here on loan. As soon as the opportunity came, I was up here as soon I could.
“The Scotland under-21 call-up came during the off-season. A couple of weeks after finishing at Coventry, I played a couple of games against Northern Ireland at Dumbarton that broke up my holiday.
“There a couple of the lads I was away with who play in this league, which highlights where you are playing. You are more visible than playing in England, so hopefully I’ll be getting more call-ups in the near future and be able to push on from there.”
Burroughs will bring versatility to Mackay’s side, with the 20-year-old comfortable as either a box-to-box midfielder or full-back.
Having played the second 45 minutes against Hibs, Burroughs has already had a glimpse of the quality of opposition he will face and he is eager to make the most of the upcoming tests.
Burroughs added: “Coming up and playing first team football is something that I needed to do, no matter what level it was at. Being at this level, I’ll be playing in front of big crowds, and against opposition the calibre of Rangers and Celtic as well as teams like Hibs as well.
“It is a league that will bring a lot of challenges and help me develop as a footballer and person. There are also things like moving away from home – I’ve never had to do that before so there are things on and off the pitch I will benefit from.
“It’s nice to get the first game out of the way to get used to playing with the boys. I have only done a couple of sessions, so it will be good to get some tactical work in the next couple of weeks to set us up for a tough game against Rangers.”
Despite the three-goal loss to Hibs, Burroughs took encouragement from his side’s improved second half display in which he helped to prevent the loss of any further goals.
He added: “We need to improve on a lot of things if we are going to succeed this season.
“You can say it is difficult to come in that sort of situation, but you can look at it both ways and come on and play with freedom.
“We tried to do that more in the second half, we tried to be braver on the ball and you could see that in the patterns of play we were trying to get out.
“We defended better in the second half with no goals going in and that is a positive from the game.”