Dundee United boss Micky Mellon has hailed Aberdeen counterpart Derek McInnes as their teams prepare to go head to head at Tannadice today.
McInnes’ Dons sit fourth in the Premiership table and have a perfect away record so far this season, conceding no goals in the process.
Mellon will be hoping his Tangerines can blemish those impressive stats as they look to improve after some recent inconsistent form saw them drop to seventh.
The 48-year-old took time to praise McInnes for the job he’s done at Pittodrie since taking the reins in 2013 and is looking forward to a challenging contest as United seek their first league win in almost a month.
“I’ve known Derek since I was very young. I grew up in Glasgow and he was in the Paisley area,” Mellon said.
“We’ve known each other for many, many years but Derek’s older than me, believe it or not.
“We never really played against each other but growing up in Scottish football as a schoolboy you would brush shoulders with people who would come up in your development.
“I would come across Derek many times and we got on very well.
“He’s a very, very good manager and we’re really looking forward to the challenge of going and competing against them.”
He continued: “You’ve got to win games and keep doing that at clubs like Aberdeen in order to stay there.
“He’s done really well and always got to contest in the latter stages of cups and things like that.
“He’s been able to bring together good teams, with established players and a lot of Premiership experience at a big club.
“They’re all the ingredients that would need to come together for him to stay there as long as he has done.”
It will be the first league action either side has seen in over two weeks because of the international break and Betfred Cup action for United.
The Tangerines welcome back new father Lawrence Shankland and Logan Chalmers from international duty, while Dons Andy Considine, Ross McCrorie, Lewis Ferguson and Connor McLennan also return from Scotland squads.
After disappointing league displays against Hamilton and Livingston and a cup loss to Peterhead, United will be keen to bounce back strongly.