Montrose striker Gary Fraser has showered new manager Stewart Petrie with praise by claiming the coach has created a buzz around the club and helped restore confidence.
Petrie was brought in to replace former boss Paul Hegarty earlier this month, following a spell as assistant manager at junior side Broughty Athletic.
And despite his tenure at Links Park still being in its infancy, Fraser has seen enough already to convince him Montrose have hired the right man.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News, he said: “Obviously, Paul Hegarty and his coaches were good guys – good coaches and good at what they did.
“But the current manager has come in with different ideas and he’s a bit younger.
“I didn’t know him myself, but the enthusiasm he shows helps to bring everybody’s confidence back up and that’s provided a real boost around the club.
“His team talks and preparation before the game is excellent and he’s very, very professional in what he brings to training. The sessions tend to be game-related stuff and they’re really enjoyable.
“I think they really help us when it comes to Saturday. His man-management skills are great too; he goes around every player and speaks to them and he knows how to get the best from each individual as well.
“Just now, it’s been excellent. So far, he’s come in and played two games and won two games, which has seen us shoot up to sixth in the league.
“His enthusiasm around the club has rubbed off everybody else and you find that everybody is more buzzing for training and matches now.
“Personally I think he can [manage at a higher level].
“It’s obviously very early, but in the two games he’s done well and he knows the game and the league. I believe he was a successful player as well. I think, from what I’ve seen so far, he can do a lot more and go a lot higher in the game and in management.”
Fraser is currently Montrose’s top scorer, with seven goals so far, and the 33-year-old is hoping that his goals, coupled with Petrie’s nous, can help lead the club towards promotion from Ladbrokes League 2.
Fraser added: “As a striker that’s what you’re all about. You score goals, but if we win the game and I don’t score I’m not really fussed.
“But, as a striker, you always go out on to the pitch aiming to score goals. You’re judged by others by how many you’ve scored for the team.
“Last year I really enjoyed it, although I should’ve finished more chances than I did.
“This year has been a bit of a struggle, but I’m still managing to score goals and that’s down to the boys in the team giving me assists and providing service.
“We’re sitting sixth just now and there’s a bit of confidence in the team – and it’d be great to push for the play-off places.
“We’re not a million miles away and you’d think the manager would strengthen when the transfer window opens.”
Montrose take on Stirling Albion at home on Christmas Eve and we’ve priced The Gable Endies at 5/4 favourites to claim all three points.
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