Stephen Robinson stressed the importance of the work ethic at St Mirren as he looked forward to the cinch Premiership opener against Hibernian on Sunday.
The Buddies travel to Easter Road on the back of their most successful league finish since 1985 – last season’s sixth-place finish.
The Paisley club’s boss, who will assess defender Charles Dunne as he hopes to recover from a calf injury which initially was believed to have kept him out of the start to the league season, spoke of the key criteria – “discipline, hard work and being hard to break down” – for what he hopes is another successful season.
The Northern Irishman said: “Before the top-six split, we didn’t concede loads of goals, I think we had one of the best defensive records in the league.
“We were the highest pressers in the league outwith Celtic. Those things we have to maintain.
“There are other aspects and statistics we look at and ask what we can be better at.
“But first and foremost the work ethic from top to bottom of the football club has to be high to compete at this level.
“To bridge the gap in the financial disparity in the league, you have to be disciplined, you have to work hard and you have to have good characters and I believe we have got that.
“There is a real core of players who were here last year that believe in what we are doing.
“We are trying to tweak it, change and makes things better as we go while not coming away from our core values of the hard work and organisation.
“The fans believe in the team and there is real togetherness at the football club.
“You can achieve if you stick together, you can achieve many good things and that’s what we aim to do.”