New Hibernian boss Jack Ross believes life at Sunderland prepared him for the busy fixture list his side face before the end of the year.
The 43-year-old was sacked by the English League One outfit in October after 18 months in charge before taking over at Easter Road.
Ross began his tenure at the Hibs with a 3-1 home win over Motherwell at the weekend – to confirm their first back-to-back wins in the Ladbrokes Premiership this season – and returns to former club St Mirren on Tuesday night with another seven matches in 2019 to negotiate after that.
However, the former Alloa boss insists he has adapted his management style to cope.
He said: “It is pretty busy between now and the end of the year. ‘I am well used to it’ is probably the best thing I could say.
“I had a 61-game season last year. I was used to the relentlessness of eight, nine, 10 fixtures a month. I had that quite often.
“Although I say this period is quite busy, it is probably the norm for me or certainly it has been for me over the last year-and-a-half.
“I have probably had to train myself and educate myself in a different way than what I had to deal with previously.
“I think that is standing me in good stead for this period that we have got and then after the winter break, it settles down again.
“When you have less time on the training pitch it is easier to do that and accept that when you are in good place, whether results or performance-wise.”
Ross took over at St Mirren in 2016 when they were bottom of the Ladbrokes Championship but saved them from relegation. The following season he led the Buddies to the title and promotion before moving to the Black Cats.
He brought Sunderland to Paisley for a friendly match weeks after departing where they won 6-0 and is relaxed about returning to the stadium for a competitive match.
The former St Mirren defender said: “I’m looking forward to it. I went back quite quickly with Sunderland in a pre-season match after I left.
“It is a club and a stadium that means a lot to me, both as player and a manager.
“I still speak to several people at the club, still close to them and have always kept a close eye on what they are doing.
“I am looking forward to seeing some familiar faces but the focus and energy is very much about going to win the game as opposed to anything else.”
As for the reaction he might get, he said: “I don’t know. You never know in football.
“I had a good period there as manager and a good relationship with people there as well so hopefully a good one.”
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