MOTHERWELL assistant Kenny Black is backing club boss Stuart McCall to be a hit with Scotland – despite the Fir Park gaffer inheriting his job.
For two-and-a-half years the Well No.2 performed his duties as part of the Dark Blue coaching team with Craig Levein and Peter Houston before they were relieved of their duties after a disappointing start to our World Cup qualification bid late last year.
Now his gaffer at Fir Park has been called upon to fulfil the same role in the new regime as No.3 to Gordon Strachan and Mark McGhee.
With the Strach's Scotland era set to kick-off with a friendly against Estonia at Pittodrie tomorrow night, Blackie has no doubt that his friend and boss can make a massive contribution to the national cause.
Black said: "I remember when I joined up with Craig Levein and Peter Houston for the first time in the Scotland set-up. It was a very exciting and proud moment.
"This is a similar and marvellous time for Stuart and one I believe he will grasp with both hands.
"It is a bit ironic that he is basically inheriting the same position with the national team that I held under Craig Levein, but I'm certain Stuart will make a very meaningful contribution. He has so much experience to draw upon from his playing career with Rangers and Everton at club level.
"Stuart was a key member of a Scotland team that made the finals of both the European Championships and a World Cup.
"I think with the latter in particular will be a huge help to him and really allow him to draw upon his own experience. That will stand Scotland in good stead."
McCall has mastered the art of being able to balance being hugely popular with his players at Motherwell but not allowing that popularity to undermine his authority.
This is a skill set that his No.2 at Fir Park believes will allow him to play a key role in helping to create a club environment during Scotland gatherings.
The Well assistant said: "Stuart's a great man manager and exceptional at getting the best out of players and of being able to encourage them.
"His role with Scotland will be different to the one he has at Fir Park as manager.
"But those qualities are great for fostering the type of club atmosphere that will benefit the new regime."
Looking back on his own spell with the national team, Black remains fond of his time in the national set-up, even though things did not quite go according to plan.
He said: "I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Scotland set-up and I believe I learned a lot that has enhanced my ability as a coach.
"It was very disappointing that it came to an end the way it did and that things did not go as we would have liked. But it is still something I am very proud to have on my CV.
"I am sure that Stuart will learn a lot from working with Gordon Strachan and Mark McGhee, and that in turn will benefit Motherwell and help him grow and develop as a manager and person."
Of course Black's interest in how the Scots get on against Estonia will have a secondary strand given the fact that Motherwell striker Henrik Ojamaa has been called up to the squad to face the Dark Blues at Pittodrie.
He said: "I don't know how much game time Henrik Ojamaa will get for Estonia.
"But while he might be able to provide a few helpful pointers to the Estonian management, there will be nothing about Henrik's game the Scotland camp won't know with Stuart being on the staff.
"Given Motherwell haven't had a game for two weeks, it would be great for us and Henrik if he got some game time.
"However, hopefully Scotland will keep him quiet."