If you want to chart the progress of St Mirren under manager Jack Ross since he swept into power in Paisley a year ago this week, just take a look at the Championship table then and compare it to now.

Saints were sitting rock bottom of the standings when Ross was handed the reins last October, and now they sit top of the pile. Quite a turnaround, by anyone’s standards.

But for Ross, he is simply a step along the road in restoring St Mirren to their rightful place in the Scottish game. Getting everyone involved in the club to believe that, was his greatest initial challenge.

“I’m not completely surprised by the progress the club has made because I had faith in myself and my staff, and I believed there was always that potential here,” Ross said.

“We’re in the sort of position now that we should be, where we want to be, and we should be looking further than that as well.

“That being said, it is nice to have made that quite dramatic progress in such a short period of time.

“As a whole club, without being critical of anyone who worked previously at the club because circumstances are always different, I just felt that there was quite a tangible feeling of apathy around the club.

“That came from the supporters too, who had become accustomed to turning up and not expecting much, and just waiting to be disappointed really.

“Once that is there, it is quite difficult to eradicate. It has been nice to see the more positive signs over the last few months. We have a way to go still, but you can feel there has been a shift in that mentality.

“I’m not surprised to see us challenging, I always felt this was where the club should be.”

One of the first priorities for Ross was not only to get his players believing in the club again, but to get the long-suffering Saints support believing in them too after almost three years of misery.

“I can only go on my two experiences, as a player here at first and then coming back and sensing that disconnect between the fans and the club,” he said.

“Certainly now I receive a number of letters or emails telling me that a lot of fans are reigniting their love for the club.

“I’m fortunate to be at a club with a proper, traditional fanbase. They are still there, those generations of supporters and a lot of them who have their roots in Paisley.

“That meant at least I had something to tap into, and that’s been greatly encouraging for me.

“When you create that feeling of optimism and positivity, that can be quite powerful. I think you can see that in our home form, we’ve benefited from that good feeling around the stadium.”

So, what next for Ross as the Saints go marching on? St Mirren fans will be hoping first and foremost, that they can keep him at the club long enough to finish the job he has started.

They will be pleased to hear he is a man who is happy at his work as he moves into year two.

“With this job, there is so much potential, as there was when I took over,” he said. “There’s the fanbase, an infrastructure, a training ground, a stadium. All these things point to the club moving into the league above.

“I’ve never shied away from saying my aim is to get promoted. The challenge then is to become an established and successful club in the top flight.

“I have a great relationship with the board, I have a great feeling for the club, and I am really happy.

“It would take a lot to shift me from that.”