ST MIRREN manager Jack Ross admits he was sad to see winger Kyle McAllister leave the club but conceded his switch to Derby County was best for all parties.

The 18-year-old last week signed for the English Championship side in a deal reported to be worth an initial £225k to Saints with add ons expected to take it beyond that figure.

McAllister had been a standout player during Ross’s time at St Mirren and while the manager was gutted to see him go, with his contract due to expire in January, he says the move was best for McAllister and the club.

He said: “Kyle is a young man I have a lot of time for, I’m close to him. The interest in him has been deserved. There were many things we had to consider and I think for all parties it is a good bit of business for us and for him.

“He has been a big asset for me, he’s been a positive player for us in almost every game.

“It’s part of the job and we have to deal with it and look at other players.

“With Cammy (Smith) coming in, we have someone who could play in Kyle’s position. In an ideal world I would’ve loved to have kept Kyle and I think he would’ve enjoyed that too but it’s a great opportunity for him and one that is the next stepping stone in a top career.”

St Mirren signed former Hearts left back Adam Eckersley and 25-year-old centre back Harry Davis from Crewe Alexandria on transfer deadline day.

Eckersley came through the ranks at Manchester United, and the 31-year-old had been plying his trade in Canada for Edmonton.

Davis has made over 200 appearances for Crewe and captained the club.

Meanwhile Kalvin Orsi and Jordan Stewart have gone on loan to Queens Park and Annan Athletic respectively.

The deals complete a major turnover of players this month with 10 leaving, including loans, and 10 joining up at Saints.

Despite an unusual level of change mid-season, Ross insists it was something that had to be done with the Buddies languishing at the foot of the Championship table.

He said: “When you have a transfer window you always want to come out of it stronger than when you went into it.

“I certainly feel that will be the case for us, that should hopefully mean that we win more games in this part of the season.

“I wanted to get in some different players and we’ve managed to be creative with what we’ve done.

“I’m pleased, I’ve taken considered decisions in what I thought we needed and I’m happy with where we are at the moment.”