Former Dundee favourite Greg Stewart has a lot of time on his hands right now.
The 31-year-old forward has spent the last week trapped in quarantine in India ahead of pre-season training with new club Jamshedpur.
That doesn’t start until Monday morning so he has another 48 hours in his hotel room.
Last weekend he kept an eye on the scorelines of his former teams and saw the Dark Blues fall to a dismal 3-1 defeat at St Johnstone.
Stewart, though, is backing old team-mate James McPake to get the Dark Blues off bottom spot before long.
The pair spent two seasons together at Dens Park and had discussions about a possible reunion at Dundee this summer.
The 31-year-old attacker, though, had his heart set on a move abroad and the subcontinent beckoned.
On their return to the Premiership, Dundee have struggled to pick up points, remaining winless after eight matches.
Pressure has begun to build on McPake but Stewart points to last season’s success as a reason for the Dark Blues to stay the course.
“They’ve had a difficult start to the season but it’s still early days,” Stewart exclusively told Courier Sport.
“They’ll have Charlie Adam to come back and they have real creative players like Paul McMullan.
“I’m sure when they have a full squad, things will get better. It’s difficult coming up and having to chop and change every week.
“It’s been difficult for James but he’s been given time and I love that.
“The club stuck by him last season when they had a bad patch and look where it got them.
“I’m sure they will be fine.”
McPake was captain of the Dark Blues while Stewart led the attacking line before moving on to Birmingham City in 2016.
And the former Rangers attacker says the managerial qualities were evident even back then.
“You could see it in him,” Stewart said of McPake.
“He had those leadership qualities and he wasn’t slow to tell you how he felt.
“I was on the end of that a few times!
“I think he’s changed a bit now, though, being a manager.
“I think it’s great the club gave a young manager like him the chance, hopefully we’ll see more young managers getting opportunities.”
Meeting Owen Coyle
As he counts down the hours to the start of pre-season at his new club, Stewart has also been doing a bit of research on the Indian Super League.
That kicks off on November 19 with the entire campaign taking place in Goa due to coronavirus restrictions.
There aren’t too many familiar faces around, though he will be joining two compatriots in Owen Coyle as manager and his assistant Sandy Stewart.
Greg Stewart is vibing with the 🔴🔵 combo on him!
— Jamshedpur FC (@JamshedpurFC) September 12, 2021
Another man he knows is club captain Peter Hartley, the former Motherwell defender.
“I travelled over with the manager and three others from London last week so it was good to met them all and talk to the manager.
“I hadn’t really met Owen Coyle before but obviously I knew of him and the success he’d had in management in England and Scotland.
“I spoke to the manager and he explained everything and I’m really excited about the club.
“I didn’t know much about Indian football. I’m one who just loves football and will watch anything and everything so I’ve been doing my homework.
“I know a few players who have come out here to play so I’ve been speaking to some people to find out a bit.
“Jamshedpur just missed out on the play-offs last season and that’s the aim this time.
“The club have never managed that so I’d love to help them get there.”