Veteran defender Sean Dillon believes Dundee loanee Lyall Cameron has added an extra bit of spark to Montrose as they look to book their place in the Championship play-off final.
The 19-year-old joined the Gables Endies in February after spending the first half of the season on loan at League One rivals Peterhead.
Since then, the Dark Blues’ kid has played a role in 10 of 11 Montrose fixtures, including Tuesday’s first-leg victory over Airdrie.
Dillon has been an integral part of the Gables Endies’ rise from the depths of the SPFL to where they are now.
The former Dundee United captain is one of 10 in the Montrose squad to have been with the side for at least five years.
While Dillon acknowledges consistency has been key, he highlights the added presence of Cameron in the side.
High Praise from Dillon
“There has been a gradual growth amongst the group,” he told Courier Sport. “We’re always pushing and trying to raise the bar.
“Some lads have come in on loan and they have been successful loans, it doesn’t always happen like that. Lyall in particular has made a difference, he has definitely improved us.
“I love him, he’s brilliant. He has got everything.
“He looks strong, confident and doesn’t shy away from the ball.
“You see people playing well in training but don’t quite manage it on the pitch; he has produced for us.
“The argument could be that it’s League One, but he’s not looking to play in League One.
“I would love to see him going on to play at a far higher level than what we are at the moment and I think he is capable of doing that.”
Dillon revealed the Gables Endies could have taken the teenager on loan a couple of years ago, but is delighted to have his services for the rest of the pay-offs.
“My best friend, Graham Gartland, was assistant to Neil McCann,” the Mo player/coach explained. “He always spoke highly of him.
“There was talk of us taking him back then but it didn’t quite happen.
“When he came up to play against us in the bounce game, I’m delighted we took the opportunity to take him in.
“He has been a breath of fresh air.
“It’s a positive group anyway but he has added to it and played a lot of game time which Is a real tell-tale sign that he’s been successful.”
Learning lessons from play-offs past
Dillon meanwhile says his side are looking to learn the lessons of their previous Championship play-off defeats.
Stewart Petrie’s men slumped out at the semi-final stage in their last two attempts.
Dillon has revealed a lot of work has gone in behind the scenes to ensure they make it to the final at the third attempt.
“We’re pleased that we won the first leg, but there is still a long way to go.
“Ross [Campbell], the gaffer and Stu [MacFarlane], our sports scientist, have put a lot of work in to look over the last couple of opportunities in the play-offs.
“There have been a few tweaks, even going into the Airdrie game, and there will be a couple of things we will be looking to learn our lessons from.”