ROY MacGregor expects interested clubs throughout Britain to keep tabs on Derek Adams – despite the Ross County manager pledging his future to the Dingwall club.
The Victoria Park chairman, and Global Energy chief, was thrilled to announce on Friday that Adams, who won three manager-of-the-month awards last season, had signed a deal until the end of the 2015-16 campaign.
After guiding the Staggies in their debut season in the Clydesdale Bank SPL to fifth place – and the brink of a Europa League spot – the boss’s stock had certainly risen.
With Motherwell’s Stuart McCall turning down the chance to manage League One outfit Sheffield United this week, and Inverness CT’s Terry Butcher knocking back Championship club Barnsley earlier this year, it’s clear movers and shakers in Scotland’s top-flight are on the radar of clubs in England.
MacGregor told the NS that he never feared that Adams would walk away this summer, but admits such attention only means his own club are on the right tracks.
He explained: "I was always confident that Derek would be here and it was all about the timing. With the team still in the chase for a European place until the second last day of the season, it was not easy to find the time to sit down and talk business in terms of his future.
"I expect speculation and interest in Derek will continue, despite his new contract here, but that comes with being as successful as he has been here, so that’s what happens.
"However, the three-year contract offers Derek and the club a bit of stability. We now have 10 players signed up for next season and work is on-going on that front. We’d love to add a few more and I’m sure that will happen over the summer."
Adams, who was wanted earlier this year by SPL rivals Aberdeen, won three manager-of-the-month awards last season, highlighting how impressive a season the club had, finishing fifth and winning a last-day Highland derby against Caley Thistle at Victoria Park.
MacGregor added: "Derek’s CV is an amazing read – he’s brought this club not only the greatest period in its long history, but I think probably greater success than many could ever have imagined for us.
"Of course, it is right that I highlight the First and Second Division titles and two Challenge Cups that he has brought to Dingwall as well as a top six finish in our debut season in the SPL and a Scottish Cup final appearance in 2010, but even these amazing achievements don’t tell the full story.
"What Derek has brought to this club more than anything is an ethos and a sense of belief and indeed purpose. He is one of the most focussed and driven people I have ever met, and his vision of what this football club could and should achieve has been at the very centre of everything that Ross County have achieved during his tenure as manager."
Adams, who recently revealed that getting to another major cup final is a target for the club, said: "I am delighted to extend my stay at Ross County.
"We are one of the few clubs in Scotland with access to quality training facilities right here at the stadium, and having started my tenure in the Second Division we have been able to build not only a team and a squad, but also a culture at the football club.
"Our successes have been built on this ethos, and I think this shows what can be achieved by building a team spirit and putting the players at the heart of the football club."
County, who handed 10 new contracts to first-team stars including Rocco Quinn, Michael Fraser, Scott Boyd, Gary Glen and Grant Munro last week, also swooped to land Dutch midfielder Melvin de Leeuw from SC Cambuur on a pre-contract.
Adams said of the 25-year-old left-sided player: "Melvin will create opportunities for other players and has a good goalscoring record in Holland. He will blend in well with the ethos of the football club."
Midfield ace Paul Lawson left Victoria Park to join SPL runners-up Motherwell last week, while fellow Staggies midfielder Iain Vigurs has been linked with a move to English League One side Oldham Athletic, although becoming a first-time father this month could persuade him to stay. His contract at County expires tomorrow (Friday).