ST MIRREN manager Jack Ross has backed Stevie Mallan to shine in the English Championship after the midfielder completed his move to Barnsley last week.

Mallan came through the youth set-up at St Mirren and featured more than 100 times for the club, despite having only recently turned 21.

He made his debut in 2014 while his 11 goals last season and his form in the second half of the campaign proved pivotal as Saints secured Championship survival.

Mallan was on the brink of a transfer to Oakwell in January but the move fell through. But when Barnsley renewed their interest in Mallan when the summer transfer window opened Ross and the club’s board felt they couldn’t stand in his way.

St Mirren accepted an offer believed to be around £300,000 for the Scotland under-21 international and he completed the switch on Thursday.

Mallan showed some of the best form of his St Mirren career in the second half of last season under Ross, and his former manager thinks Mallan has more than enough ability to be a success down south.

He said: “He has a natural ability and can find moments of quality in the final third. That in itself is a great asset to have, there are not that many players who can find that composure and quality in the final third.

“The goals he has scored and the number of assists he has provided are testament to that. That is a great starting point to have and if he can adapt to the different challenge of playing in that league he can go and progress again.

“He’s still very young and he’s played a lot of games for someone of his age. He knows areas he needs to strengthen and that will come with maturity. I look forward to seeing him progress through his career.”