It is a nightmare league to win promotion from.
But James McPake reckons the testing nature of the Championship makes it the ideal proving ground for young managers.
McPake was appointed Dundee boss less than 48 hours ago, but has wasted no time in laying the groundwork for a tilt at the title next season.
That is the mammoth task that has been handed to him by Dee managing director John Nelms.
Far from being daunted, however, McPake is looking forward to testing himself against the high standards set by other first-time Championship bosses in recent years.
“It excites me,” said the 34-year-old novice boss.
“You can look back over the years, and Derek McInnes did the business at St Johnstone, then Alex Neil went in at Hamilton Accies and had success there.
“You just have to look at their respective careers since.
“More recently, there’s Jack Ross at St Mirren and Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson at Ross County last season.
“They were all Championship managers, and I’ve spoken to all of them.
“It’s exciting for me to be embarking on my own journey now. It was always going to be challenge, wherever I was going to go in.
“I’d rather be going into management in the Premiership – of course I would.
“But we’re in the Championship just now, and we can’t dwell on that.
“We just need to get our business done and done quickly. We need to get a team on the pitch that can compete in that league.”
Tying up full-back Cammy Kerr has been McPake’s No. 1 priority since Friday.
He wasn’t fancied by previous boss, Jim McIntyre, who had made no moves to tie him up on a new deal.
Amidst interest from clubs, including Carlisle United and Ross County, it looked like hometown boy Kerr may have to move away from Dens Park.
But McPake is in no doubt about the fan favourite’s value to Dundee.
He will sit down with him today, upon his return from an end-of-season break, to thrash out a long-term contract.
“Cammy’s on holiday at the minute,” said McPake. “So other than a couple of texts firing about, I haven’t sat down with him yet.
“When you’re a player like Cammy, there is always going to be interest in you.
“But we’ll get that sorted. He wants to be here and I want him to be here, so I don’t see any problems.
“Yes, we need to bring more bodies in beyond Cammy, because a lot have gone out the door.
“But I look at that in the positive sense that I don’t need to move people out to get people in.
“That has been a problem in recent years.
“But there’s a blank canvas now, and I’m already working to fill it.”
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