BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Colin Nish has hailed Gus McPherson as the perfect mentor when he was learning his trade as a youngster at Dunfermline.
However, the student is determined to become the master tonight when Nish takes his Cowdenbeath side to face McPherson’s Queen’s Park at Hampden.
The Blue Brazil face a fraught fight for survival after finishing ninth in League Two in Nish’s maiden season as a boss, starting with a playoff semi-final against the Spiders.
He has nothing but respect for McPherson, who he played alongside at East End Park for two seasons, but knows friendships must be put on hold for the duration of the tie.
The 35-year-old said: “I used to play with Gus at Dunfermline, so I know him quite well and he’s done a good job wherever he has been. He’s a good, experienced manager.
“It would have been nice to catch up with him or play against each other in different circumstances than this, given what is at stake.
“He was one of the more experienced boys in the dressing room at Dunfermline – he had been at Kilmarnock for many years and done so well – and he always had plenty of advice for me.
“He was great with all the younger boys and you always knew he would make a good manager. He certainly has done.”
However, Nish must find a way to outfox his former teammate, with the triumphant side going on to face the winners of Elgin City’s tie against Barry Ferguson’s Clyde.
And Nish is certain he will emerge stronger from an occasionally tortuous campaign – if Cowdenbeath can avoid a second consecutive relegation.
He added: “This has, without a doubt, been the year I’ve learned the most in my entire career in football and my hardest year in the game.
“I’ve had to deal with a lot in a short space of time. Now it’s about getting through the playoffs and chalking it down to a massive learning curve in every possible way. If we can stay in League One, I know we’ll come out of this stronger.”