Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson has heaped praised on the man he hopes to outsmart this weekend.
Neilson will take his Tangerines down to Somerset Park to face Ayr United and sitting in the home dugout will be Ian McCall.
The former Tannadice boss has somehow managed to get his team into second spot in the Championship, three points behind league-leading United.
That is despite losing free-scoring frontman Lawrence Shankland and full-back Liam Smith to Neilson’s club in the summer.
That is a considerable achievement and McCall is not short of admirers, with Neilson certainly one of them.
The United gaffer said: “Ian did well last year and he has done a really good job again at the start of this season.
“Ian is really good at getting a team spirit at his clubs.
“He gets players working for each other and they get good energy into their team.
“They will be a force again this year.
“As all managers know, we go up and down in our jobs.
“We have good periods and then we have difficult periods.
“I have had that as well and it is then about your resilience.
“Ian has had that as well and he has shown the capabilities he has at Ayr,” added Neilson, who saw his team lose three times to the Honest Men last season.
“He has built something at Ayr there and it has been about getting time to do that.
“If you get three or four years you get the chance to build something and get a bit of stability.
“The problem is in the game now is that you are getting two or three months.
“When you get what Ian has managed to get down there and hopefully I will get here, ie time, it gives you the chance to make a football club.
“I know Ian and I meet him now and again because he stays near me. I also enjoy going down there to his club because it’s your old fashioned stadium, the surface is generally very good and it’s a nice, big pitch.”