Dundee United’s new manager Micky Mellon can go right to the top in football management, according to Ipswich striker James Norwood.
The former Tranmere Rovers star hailed the Paisley-born coach – announced last night as Robbie Neilson’s replacement at Tannadice – for the role he’s played in his career.
Norwood, 29, reckons his old boss is destined for top-flight success north or south of the border.
He said: “He can achieve anything he wants to if the players buy into what he what he wants. You’d be stupid not to.
“If you’re not going to buy into it, he’s not going to let you up at the club.
“You’ve got to want to win – the gaffer wants to win every week. That’s what we learned. And that’s what we started to do.
“I don’t know, whether it’s in his plans to take Dundee United into Europe or somehow he ends up at Rangers or Celtic or somewhere else.
“He’s worked so hard and wants to be the best in his field, at whatever level he’s at.
“He wanted to be the best manager in League Two, the best manager in League One. Now he will want to be the best manager in the Scottish Premiership.
“If I’m honest, I think he can go wherever he wants to go.”
Norwood – who has scored 11 goals in 32 appearances for Ipswich in League One this season – says Mellon created an incredible team spirit at Prenton Park.
The ex-Forest Green Rovers forward says expert man-management was the key to the squad’s bond.
“Behind the scenes he has been great for me,” he added. “From a personal standpoint, he obviously helped me get to where I am now.
“He worked hard with me and was patient – his man-management skills were second to none.
“Some people aren’t easy to manage but he finds a way to get the best out of them. I’ve got a lot of fond memories from the three years I spent with him.”
Mellon – who has signed a two-year deal with United – is regarded as a promotion and play-off specialist in the lower leagues down south and that success led to interest in his players.
Norwood said: “In the summer after the first promotion I had a bid come in and I rang the gaffer.
“He said to me, ‘Nors, see this season, play the season, you’re going to score a lot of goals, you’ve got to trust me, and then whatever happens after that happens after that.’
“I believed every word that he said. Then 32 goals later, I got a great move.
“So that was me putting my career and my faith in the gaffer’s hands, he did want me to succeed.
“He set up a team for me to score goals and we were successful doing that. So I owe where I am now to the gaffer.”
He added: “I think the way he ran the team, the way he let the players run the changing room…he was the enforcer if he needed to be, but he very much let the players manage everything.
“We became so close knit during those three or four years. He let us do our thing. We would perform on a Saturday and get our rewards.
“The success were down to everyone but they stemmed from when the gaffer came in.”
Getting the basics right was crucial to Mellon – who gave Leicester City legend Jamie Vardy his break in the professional ranks at Fleetwood Town – in his early days at Tranmere Rovers.
Norwood reckons his former boss will be a huge hit in his homeland.
The striker said: “He’ll find a way he wants to play at Dundee United and he will be successful with it.
“Ultimately, if you’re successful, then the fans buy in to it and they love watching the team win.
“Hard work, first and foremost, is a given with the gaffer. You don’t need the ability to work hard, and that’s what he’ll say.”