CSABA LASZLO became known for his colourful comments during his spell as Hearts head coach, but Paul McMullan insists the Hungarian could not have been any clearer as he set out his vision for Dundee United this week.
Laszlo was appointed as successor to Ray McKinnon on Wednesday and got down to work on the training pitch with the Tangerines 24 hours later ahead of this Saturday’s debut against Northern Irish outfit Crusaders in the Irn-Bru Cup quarter-final.
The 53-year-old, who was the longest-serving boss of the Vladimir Romanov regime at Hearts, where he lasted 18 months, lived up to his headline-grabbing past as he was unveiled. He warned assistant manager Laurie Ellis to forget about his wife in the coming weeks because he would be ‘married’ to him.
He then began his Tannadice tenure for real by gathering the United squad together for a lengthy team meeting to introduce himself to the players he hopes to guide back to the top-flight he graced with the Jambos.
However, 21-year-old McMullan, who admits he does not remember his new manager from his previous stint in Scottish football, has revealed Laszlo was straight to the point as he made his first impressions count.
He said: “The manager spoke to us and said he wants to build on what we’ve been doing in the last couple of weeks, and then over the next week or two he’ll probably put his own stamp on things.
“We sat for 10 or 15 minutes and had a good chat. He told us a wee bit about himself and stuff like that.
“It was good, he was really open and said if anyone has any questions then we can chat to him at any time.
“I was a wee bit young to remember him when he was at Hearts, to be honest. But when he was linked with the job a few of the boys had a wee look online to see where he had been.
“By all accounts, he did really well at the team he was at last year. Hopefully he does well for us and gets us promoted.
“He’ll certainly have a wealth of experience he can pass on. We’ve got quite a young squad, mixed with some good experienced pros, so that experience will hopefully help make us better.”
Laszlo takes over a side that has won its last two matches and is sitting joint-top of the Championship after a win over league leaders St Mirren last weekend.
Another victory would give the Tangerines a semi-final to look forward – and McMullan hopes the arrival of the new manager will provide yet more momentum to a team desperate for success this season.
He added: “There’s a sense of freshness. Any time a new manager comes in the door, it’s a fresh start and a clean slate for everybody.
“That starts at the weekend and we’ll see if we can push on from there.”
“Anybody who gets the chance to play and show the manager what they’ve got will have to take it.
“Another win would be three on the bounce. If we can keep that going that would help in our goal of getting up to the Premiership.”