Dundee United hero Sean Dillon believes “special talent” Chris can run a-Moch in League One as the Terrors youngster returns to Montrose on loan.
Teen star Mochrie spent the first part of this season at Links Park but was recalled by the Tangerines after the suspension of the lower leagues amid coronavirus fears.
With Leagues One and Two set to return later this month after the introduction of regular Covid testing, the youngster is back in training with The Gable Endies.
Dillo delighted to welcome back talented kid Chris
Montrose player-coach and former United captain Dillon is delighted to have the young midfielder back in Angus and is expecting big things.
“We’re buzzing because he’s brilliant,” the 37-year-old defender said.
“We really, really pushed to get him back.
“We were very keen because we were disappointed when he had to go back to United.
“There was an element of fear there he might get an opportunity and take it at United or go on loan elsewhere.
“As a friend I’d love to see him doing well at United, but as a selfish coach and player at Montrose I’m delighted he’s back.
“I still don’t think we’ve seen the best of him, and I don’t like saying that because he’s only 17 and he’s got a long way to go before he reaches his peak, but he’s a special talent, there’s no doubt about that.
“I just hope he comes over and continues to improve with us.
“Our No 1 thing when a lad comes in on loan is to improve them. The better job we do with them, the more chance we have of getting another player back next season.
“We want the reputation for our club, the staff, the squad and the way we deal with players to be good.
“We want them going away thinking they’ve become better players while helping Montrose to have success.”
Progress off the pitch also important for young star Mochrie
Mochrie, who turns 18 next month, became United’s youngest-ever player at 16 years and 27 days when he made his debut as a second-half substitute at Morton back in 2019.
The playmaker was in sparkling form for ’Trose before the turn of the year, scoring once in 11 games to help the club into third spot.
Yet to make his full debut for the Tangerines, appearing seven times off the bench, Dillon hopes Mochrie can kick on and develop on and off the pitch with the Mighty Mo.
Even in the face of the challenges posed by Covid-19, centre-half Dillo insists he’s already seeing progress from the Tannadice kid.
He added: “It’s hard for anybody, even at full-time level, you can’t talk to each other properly and socialise at the moment because of the pandemic.
“You don’t have any time to spend in the dressing-room like you’d normally have, pre-season trips, social events, etc.
“That’s when you get to know lads properly – and I appreciate Chris is not old enough to be going out anyway!
“It’s frightening – I was already in my first season back in Ireland before he was born.
“It’s great he’s here and he’s become more integrated in the group, even little things like the group chat and on the training pitch.
“He’s been a little more vocal but he’s got a long way to go. He could talk a lot more than he does but we’ll just keep trying to coach that out of him.
“He should know by now that he’s part of the group because he’s played enough games and been part of us picking up points and good performances.
“The hope is he comes in and does even better this time.”
Fast start will help The Gable Endies
As they await news of when exactly they’ll return, who they’ll face first and how the format will look, Dillon says Montrose have given themselves every chance to have success this season in the third tier.
He commented: “We’re doing not bad, we’re always just trying to do as well as we can.
“I don’t want to overly play things down but, yeah, we’ve had a decent run and a slightly better start than what we’ve normally had over the last few years.
“If you look at the two seasons before this one, our starts aren’t particularly great.
“That’s definitely something we spoke about in the lead up to this season, knowing that the maximum was going to be 27 games.
“That was something we needed to address and say: ‘Look lads, as a group we need to make sure we get off to a good start because we’re not going to have 36 games’.
“Those nine games at the end of last season gave us that push to get into the play-off positions and that’s not going to be there this season.
“I’m looking forward to getting back.”