ST MIRREN chairman Gordon Scott believes the club’s survival in the Championship vindicates the two major decisions he took in his first year in charge. Scott, who led a fans-backed takeover of the Paisley club last summer, chose to replace manager Alex Rae with Jack Ross in the autumn and then allowed Ross to completely overhaul the playing squad in the January transfer window.

From a position where they looked virtually dead and buried at the foot of the table, Saints went on a remarkable run of form to eventually finish the season in seventh spot. Scott reflected on a momentous first season and admitted he had no regrets about doing what had felt necessary at the time.

He told Times Sport: “I feel for the first time since I took over I can actually catch my breath again. Changing the manager and then making massive alterations to the playing squad were two major decisions but with hindsight we can say that both have worked out as we had hoped.

“Jack has done an exceptional job and given us all hope going forward. When we decided to make a change we could have gone for someone more experienced and hoped they could just keep us up but we felt Jack was the right guy. And even if we had got relegated, we would still have felt that was the right appointment. It was a big decision but the right decision.

“We’ll sit down and chat about what happens next although he’s got another two years on his contract. He’s already speaking about players he would like to bring in and things he would like to do so our job is to try to give him the ammunition to fuel that ambition.”

Saints brought in 10 new players in January and let 10 move on and Scott felt it had been the right thing to do, all prompted by a demoralising 3-0 defeat at home.

He added: “It was a fairly drastic turn around in the squad but it had to be done. That defeat at home to Queen of the South was probably a low point but in a way it made us all realise what we had to do. Up until that point Jack was thinking he might get through with the guys he had and adding only one or two. But that result was a watershed and we realised we were going to have to rip it up and start again.”

The expectation now is that St Mirren can challenge at the top end of the table next season and Scott sees no reason why not. And he wants those players who made a difference this year to extend their stays.

He said: “You can see from how we played in the second half of this season what our ambitions have to be next year. With a couple of tweaks and additions we will hopefully only get stronger. We’ve been one of the form teams in the division over the last few months and that tells you what we would hope to achieve next year.

“I know Jack wants to keep the squad together as much as possible. I know the way he likes to work and the players he’s got just now he’s happy with. He doesn’t want to go through another window like January again. So we’ll be making every effort we can to keep those players who are going out of contract or who we had on loan. Jack has spoken to them and they want to stay a part of this so we’ll have discussions over the next week or so and see where it takes us.”