TOM DUTHIE: Here’s why Csaba Laszlo can guide Dundee United back to the Premiership

Dundee United’s new boss Csaba Laszlo

Hopefully successful, probably playing a decent brand of football and most definitely colourful.

Those phrases pretty much sum up what Dundee United fans can expect from new boss Csaba Laszlo as he takes charge of their team on Saturday.

A Romanian-born Hungarian, that complicated heritage gives a hint this is no straightforward character. He’s known for being able to talk the hind legs off a donkey and has a liking for a colourful quote.

He’s regarded by those who’ve come across him as a respectful character who prefers to talk up his own team rather than criticise others.

People who worked more closely with him will also say, affable as the 53-year-old seems, he’s not a man to cross. If he gives an order, the wise path is to make sure it’s carried out.

Most encouraging for Arabs, this man of many teams — he’s managed the Ugandan national side as well as seven clubs — is remembered by most as one who made their side better.

A central midfielder as a player, he moved into coaching at just 27 after a knee injury forced him to quit.

His progress was quick and a blossoming reputation in Hungary was enough to see him appointed assistant boss when German legend Lothar Matthaus took charge of their national team in 2004.

Later that same year he became a manager in his own right at top-division level when he joined Ferencvarosi. It was during his time there he first came on Hearts’ radar when he beat them in a Uefa Cup tie.

Setting a nomadic pattern he’s maintained since, Laszlo quickly moved on to FC Sopron and, in a matter of months, left there for Uganda.

In two years in international football he took them to within goal difference of qualifying for the African Cup of Nations finals and, in two years in charge, moved the team into the top 100 in Fifa’s rankings.

That success saw Hearts come calling and the period that’s made his name familiar here in Scotland. With owner Vladimir Romanov at his most erratic, just the fact he managed to hang on at Tynecastle for two years shows he was doing something right.

And in guiding the Jambos to a third-place finish in the top flight in 2009, he earned himself the Manager of the Year awards from both the Premier League and the Football Writers’ Association.

His time also saw him prove popular with the media for his at-times off-the-wall quotes. He even crossed swords with then-United boss Craig Levein over time wasting by Hearts.

“You must look at what happened here at my house, before I go out and talk about the other house about the neighbour. You must look to keep my house clean and you don’t go to look for the other wives or you have a problem with your wife,” was Laszlo’s novel way of telling his opposite number to mind his own business.

Since becoming one of the many Romanov managerial casualties during the Lithuanian’s turbulent reign in the capital, Laszlo has had four jobs, usually arriving in a crisis and leaving with things in a much better state.

That goes for the last two in particular. At MTK Budapest and then in Slovakia with DAC Dunajska Streda.

In Budapest he led an unfancied team to the top of the league before a row over transfer budgets saw a parting of the ways. He then transformed DAC from relegation certainties to challengers for a European place.

He arrives at United with them only goal difference away from the top.

If he brings the kind of improvement he has elsewhere, Laszlo will be just as popular at Tannadice as he’s been elsewhere.

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