Gary Locke admits he is delighted his “firefighting” days are well behind him now he is at the oasis of calm that it Raith Rovers.
The 41-year-old was previously in charge at Hearts and Kilmarnock with his time at both clubs being blighted by off-field trouble and strife.
Now, though at Stark’s Park he admits it is a refreshing change to be able to fully focus on the team and what they do on the pitch.
Locke, who has been putting his players through their paces ahead of tomorrow’s game at Falkirk, said: “I feel as if I’m getting a real opportunity just to manage the football side.
“That’s one thing I’ve always wanted to do. That’s what you get judged on and what’s what you get paid to do.
“At Raith Rovers it’s brilliant. The chairman, the chief executive and the rest of the board just let you get on with the job, which has been really pleasing.
“I’ve done the firefighting.
“I still see myself as a young manager learning the trade and I’ve loads to learn.
“I certainly feel with my grounding that I’ve learned quicker than most and face more than what any manager would face.
“It’s great when you don’t have all the problems off the pitch that I’ve faced at my previous two clubs – that’s really refreshing.”
He added: “I had to make sure it was the right opportunity and I did a lot of homework before I came (to Raith).
“Okay, you’ve got paperwork to do and other things you have to do as a manager of a club that people don’t see but in the main, 90 per cent of the time you’re focused on what is happening on the training ground or on the pitch.
“It’s been very enjoyable and hopefully the lads are enjoying working with us as well.
“I’ve been delighted with a number of things but hopefully we can kick on.
“We had the nucleus of a good squad and now that the new boys have settled in I’m hopeful we can kick on a bit but if we get the same return in the second quarter I’ll be delighted.”
While happy with the points gathered so far, Locke is still demanding greater consistency from his team.
He said: “If you take 14 points from every quarter, you will be there or there about.
“There are games where we could have done better but it shows you how competitive the league is and everyone is capable of beating each other.
“I think it will be really tight. Hopefully in this quarter we can show more consistency.”
Locke is also looking for more from his strikers who are enduring something of a goal drought at the moment.
The manager added: “The way we’re playing, I would expect everyone in the team to chip in with goals.
“Strikers get judged on goals and we’ve probably not scored enough. That’s one area that we’re maybe lacking a wee bit.
“I think we lack an out-and-out number nine but it was difficult with the budget restrictions.
“To be fair to the four strikers we’ve got, they’ve got goals in them. Once they get one, hopefully two or three will come.”