The final words on this? From Jack himself:
“The gut feeling for me all along was that I really enjoy the job here. I’m really close to my players and I have a degree of loyalty towards them and also the club as a whole. The club has been very good for me in terms of helping me progress my management career by giving me the platform to do that and build a relationship with the supporters. It’s important to stress I hadn’t been offered the Barnsley job and nor was the decision based on me thinking I wouldn’t be offered it. It was based simply on my own feeling having weighed up all the information. We work in a unique industry where being approached or head-hunted or shortlisted is done very much in the public eye. People will look from the outside and believe it’s a very straightforward choice – you go for the allure of something that people perceive to be a lot bigger or the allure of greater finances. But I don’t think it’s always just about that – there are other things to consider. This job has been good for me, I think I’ve been good for it – so it’s a good fit.
I came here with a drive and a vision to take the club to where I believe it should be and I think we’ve made progress. But it’s still a country mile off where I want us to get to. There’s a lot of work still to be done, even this season, and it feels right to be here doing that work. I’ve been consumed by this from day one of pre-season when the squad were put under no
illusions about what their target is – to win the Championship. We have worked towards that every single day and I have to lead that. It has been a big driver for me over the last seven or eight months so to just stop and come away from that all of a sudden would be difficult. I don’t wish to sound too romantic about it but I
desperately want to achieve and share success with these players. Football is about that love and enjoyment for the game and the rush you get from achieving success. There is a mercenary aspect to the game, of course, and a reality of trying to provide as best you can for your family. But I’ve loved football since I was a kid and it’s difficult to ignore that emotional side of wanting to achieve success and enjoy the feeling of lifting a trophy.
I’m aware people will believe ruling yourself out of a job like that shows a lack of ambition. But people who know me will tell you how driven and ambitious I am. I have to consider what I think are the best opportunities to be successful – sometimes I might get it wrong but any decision will also be based on my gut and other considering factors. That emotional aspect was
a big factor but also don’t underestimate what we have here. Scottish football is far from the backwater some people perceive it to be. There’s a lot of good things about it and this job I’m in is one of them. I’m fairly single-minded in trusting my own judgment but equally sometimes it’s nice to have support for that judgment. Derek McInnes is somebody I have an enormous amount of respect for and has been very good to me since I went into management. From players he’s given me on loan to conversations I’ve had with him when I was going through a difficult time when I first took this job. So when you see someone of his standing in the game choose to make the decisions he has it perhaps gives you comfort that you’re not daft! That sometimes there is a case to be made for not moving when people believe that’s
what you’ll do. That’s often what happens because the downtrodden belief we have about our own game leads to the suggestion that everyone wants to escape from it at the first opportunity, as if it’s some sort of horrific ordeal. It’s far from that. Of course in terms of finance it can’t compete with the other side of the border because of the television revenue but there’s an awful lot of good things about our football. I have been steeped in it for all but one season of my career. I’m a fan of it, I’m supportive of it and pleased to still be involved in Scottish football.”