Derek Adams: 'Teams in England's League Two could play in Scottish Premiership'

Plymouth manager Derek Adams
Adams took Plymouth to the play-off final in his first season

Derek Adams has a reputation for being a difficult customer.

"Many people have come to that conclusion without really knowing the real Derek Adams," explains the Plymouth manager.

There is a sense he wants to be liked but there's a pragmatism that suggests he accepts it's an uphill battle he might never win.

"People have written in the press and have said things that haven't sat with me for two minutes and been able to have a right go," Adams told BBC Scotland's Sportsound.

"I find that difficult at times. I don't think you can say things about people until you really get to know them.

"People's perception of me is probably their ignorance rather than me getting to know them."

'Enlightened' by move south

His next statement might divide opinion further.

"There is no doubt that teams in League Two could play in the Scottish Premiership. No question about it," he says.

"The teams that are in and around the top three or four could easily play in the top flight in Scotland. There's a very good quality."

A year ago, the former Ross County boss took over at Plymouth and came close to promotion to League One at the first time of asking, falling at the final hurdle in a Wembley play-off against AFC Wimbledon.

"Moving to England has really enlightened me," he enthused.

"The backing we've had. We take an average of 1,500 to away games. We've got an average gate of 8,700. For a team that's in League Two, it's fantastic.

Adams turns 41 on Saturday, with nine years of management experience behind him.

He began by steering County to promotion to the First Division, then to a Scottish Cup final, famously defeating Celtic on the way.

After a short spell as Colin Calderwood's assistant at Hibernian, Adams returned to Dingwall and won PFA Scotland manger of the year as he took County into the Premier League on the back of 36-game unbeaten run.

Derek Adams oversaw County's Scottish cup semi-final win against Celtic in 2010
Adams was 32 when he started in management at Ross County

He was sacked by chairman Roy MacGregor in 2014, a decision he still believes was unfair.

"We were five games into a season," he said. "We had finished champions, seventh, fifth; which is still the highest finish the football club has achieved.

"We had a team in place that there's no doubt would have finished in the top half of the table. It was probably the best squad that I'd ever had at Ross County.

"I had to work with a tight budget. I didn't have the money that is available now. There was obviously a reason for that.

"They were looking to move in another direction. It was just the nature of how it happened that didn't go well with me."

'Fighting for your club'

For all of his success, Adams is perhaps considered an outsider by many within Scottish football.

Comments like those above probably don't endear him to some but he feels justified in arguing his case given his record.

His image perhaps hasn't been helped by run-ins with opposing managers; something he believes is simply part of football.

"In football you're going to have disagreements," he said. "You're fighting for your football club.

"I get on well with a lot of managers in Scottish football. We might have had blows on the touchline for 90 minutes but that's just the nature of the game.

"Yes, there'll be managers that we don't get on with but everybody will say the same.

"Your supporters want to see you looking after your football club. It's my job to be the focal point, the leader of that team to show you've got a wee bit of heart and spirit."

Whatever people think, Adams has proven that he is a capable manager and if people don't like him it doesn't seem to be holding him back.

Top Stories