Raith Rovers captain Jason Thomson insists Dundee United are getting an inspiring and tactically-astute manager in Ray McKinnon.
Thomson was part of a Raith side that was guided to the Championship play-offs by McKinnon last season before the 45-year-old left to take up the post at Tannadice.
McKinnon, who has succeeded Mixu Paatelainen at United, is charged with regaining his former club’s Premiership status at the first attempt and Thomson is in no doubt that the will make an impact in the dugout.
Thomson said: “It’s hard to pinpoint anything specific about what the gaffer did but he was a great man-manager and a great motivator.
“It’s not only that. During games as well, he could see and knew when things needed to be changed.
“And a lot of times when he did change it, we ended up getting the win – which is something that’s maybe not happened before. That’s a big part in getting to the play-offs like we did.
“He’s maybe done it the harder way than some managers who go straight into big jobs.
“He started at Lochee juniors and then a part-time club with Brechin.
“Raith was his first full-time club and he worked well with us. Everything fell into place and worked.”
McKinnon played for United for a total of seven years in two spells and Thomson admits he can fully understand his reasons for returning to the Tayside club.
He added: “I don’t think he’s made it a secret of that fact that there is an attraction at Dundee United for him.
“His kids and family grew up supporting Dundee United so it’s a hard one for him to turn down.
“We could have finished seventh in the league and he would still be our manager but with the success we had he was always going to attract other clubs.”