AARON MUIRHEAD listened to every word Alan Archibald told him during their time at the heart of Partick Thistle's rearguard.
Now the youngster hopes his former defensive partner will be able to continue passing on his experience from the Jags dugout.
Archibald has taken himself out of the Thistle back four since being appointed interim boss, leaving Muirhead and Conrad Balatoni to face Morton and Hamilton Accies in recent days.
He has collected four points from his first two matches on the touchline and Muirhead wants the temporary arrangement to be made permanent.
He said: "It is strange [having Archie in the dugout] but it is what everyone wants.
"He is a good player for us but everyone wants him to be the manager.
"Everyone respects him and looks up to him so, hopefully, we keep getting the results for him and he gets the job.
"I have learned a lot from him. Every day you pick up bits and pieces and he gives you different pointers.
"If I can keep learning from him and progressing that is great.
"He has always been an organiser and a talker so I think he will turn out to be a good manager and hopefully he is the Thistle manager."
Archibald had his former centre-back colleague to thank on Tuesday night as Muirhead netted the only goal of the game to give Thistle a 1-0 home win over Hamilton Accies.
Victory had the Jags' deficit to Irn-Bru First Division leaders Morton cut to just five points and with two games in hand still to come, the former Annan star is thriving in the heat of title battle.
Muirhead said: "It is a good pressure to be under, I think all the boys are thriving on it.
"We just need to go out and win games. We don't build it up too much, we just get on with it.
"We have got a lot of fixtures coming up so we just need to focus game by game and not looking too far ahead."
THE defender added: "Before the game on Saturday we would probably have taken a point and getting the win on Tuesday means it was a good point for us.
"We have the games in hand and it is still in our hands so we just need to keep picking up points."
It is not just Archibald who is central to the Thistle cause, with experienced heads Hugh Murray and Steven Craig set to play a part in the title race.
Few members of the Jags squad have tasted title glory but Muirhead reckons the young guns are learning quickly.
He said: "Those boys are vital to the squad. I have learned a lot from Archie since he has been here and hopefully I can keep picking up wee points.
"The attacking boys look up to Stef and the midfielders look to Shuggy so it is good we have got them. We have a good balance of experience and youth.
"Morton keep going on about their experience but we have players and coaches that have been there and done it. We will just keep taking the bits of advice they are giving and push on."