Being a managerial rookie will not stop Neil McCann from keeping Dundee in the Premiership, according to Jim Jefferies.
The Edinburgh City sporting director has been a big influence on McCann’s career, after signing him for Hearts and then taking him to Dunfermline as a first team coach.
Administration was followed by relegation at East End Park but Jefferies believes that experience in Fife, as well as his football knowledge and “presence”, will help Paul Hartley’s successor at Dens Park hit the ground running.
He said: “Neil might not have had any experience of management but that does not mean he will not be a success at Dundee.
“I gave him a wee start on that side when he helped me out at Dunfermline, alongside John Potter, during tough times.
“He knows exactly what to do on the training field and I think he has got all the right qualities.
“He is very single-minded, very competitive and knows the Scottish game inside out as you can see from his punditry work with Sky which he has done extremely well.
“He has got that ruthless streak that you sometimes need. He is a very pleasant guy but don’t let that fool you that he is a soft touch.
“When it comes down to the nitty-gritty his competitiveness shines through.
“Even when he was playing in knock-abouts he wanted to win. He’s a winner.”
Jefferies added: “There is a presence about Neil. He has played for his country and has had a top playing career for different clubs.
“That does not guarantee you are going to do well as a manager. Some are not cut out for it but I would not say that about Neil because I do believe he has got the qualities required to take on the management side.
“When you think about the injuries he has come through, including a double leg break and three times he has done his knee, Neil is a very determined person.
“He is a battler and has a will about him. I think Paul Hartley would have kept Dundee up, now Neil has got the job and I believe he will do the same.”