Peter Grant has backed on-loan Dundee United defender Mark Connolly to make his presence felt on and off the pitch at Dunfermline.
Connolly, 29, joined the struggling Pars on Wednesday and was immediately pitched into Fife derby action, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw against Raith Rovers.
Grant firmly believes the capture is a coup for the Fifers, lavishing praise on the Irishman’s old fashioned defensive instincts and leadership qualities.
Connolly has only signed a deal until January but Grant reckons he will be a massive influence on the youngsters at East End Park in that time, including raw Tannadice prospect Ross Graham.
“I was delighted with Mark coming in and I thought he showed his experience on Wednesday,” said Grant, who takes his side to face Queen of the South on Saturday.
“He was aggressive at important times.
“You’ve got to have winners and guys with real determination. For our young centre-backs, having Mark here is something for them to use.
“We have maybe got away from the fact that the most important thing for a defender to do is to defend.
“You need to be able to handle one-v-ones, you need to fight your corner — and Mark does that.
“I still think there is a place in the game for proper defenders who can organise, cajole, get their head in and make blocks.
“He is vocal and that’s something I want our young players to learn.
“It’s not something they have been taught. I’m hoping he can bring those qualities to the group.”