Dundee new boy Jordon Forster says linking up with former team-mate James McPake again was a no-brainer after the Dark Blues boss came calling.
The 25-year-old made his first appearance for the club on Tuesday night in the 0-0 friendly draw with Nottingham Forest in Murcia after signing on Saturday.
Forster was a young defender at Hibs when McPake skippered the Edinburgh side and says he has huge admiration for the man whose boots he used to clean at Easter Road.
“The manager was a massive part in me coming to the club,” Forster told the Tele.
“It was the biggest reason – and by a long way – why I came to the club.
“I have huge respect for him for what he did as a player.
“I trained with him a lot at Hibs and used to clean his boots.
“He helped me massively as a young player and I look forward to him helping me as my manager now.
“He was a huge part of my decision and I respect him massively so I’m looking forward to the next two or three years.”
Dundee fans are yet to see what Forster can bring to the team but he plans to take a leaf out of McPake’s book in his approach to life on the pitch at Dens Park.
Forster added: “Everybody knows what James McPake was like as a player.
“He was almost a mirror-image of myself, to be honest – big, aggressive, wants to win everything and wants to be dominant.
“He loved defending and was always putting himself in front of the ball between the goal and I like to think I’m a bit like him in the way I play.
“I’m not going to be one of these ball-playing centre-halves who step into midfield, I get the ball, keep it simple, give it to the better players and do my job at the back.”
In his short time at the club, Forster has noticed a change in McPake’s demeanour now that he’s a manager and no longer a player – and he says that bodes well for the future at Dens Park.
He added: “I have seen a different side to him as a manager – he’s a lot calmer than I remember him!
“He’s mellowed out a little bit but I’d guess being a manager it can be easy to lose your cool.
“As the boss he needs to step outside the bubble and look in but it’s not to say I’ve not already heard him lose his temper a little bit.
“I think it will make him a good manager being able to control it and use it when needed.”
Forster signed a two-year deal with an option of a further third with the Dark Blues after turning down a new deal at Cheltenham Town and leaving the English League Two side at the end of last season.
After signing on Saturday, Forster took in some of Dundee’s friendly win over Brechin City but was glad to get some minutes under his belt himself in the draw with English Championship side Forest on Tuesday.
“I signed on Saturday morning but I’d spoken to the gaffer before that and came up last week and finally got it done at the weekend. I flew out on Sunday before some training sessions and a game, so it’s been a good few days so far.
“It’s never nice coming into a pre-season eight days behind the other boys.
“You feel like you are playing catch-up a little bit and sometimes you can work too hard and end up with the opposite effect.
“It’s about managing things properly and trying to work hard as well as look after myself.
“Obviously, the staff here are helping me do that but it’s important to get minutes at the same time.”
Forster will get more game time today as Dundee take on Scunthorpe in La Manga.