Stuart McCall is fast developing a reputation as a manager with a bright future. The 46-year-old Motherwell boss has quickly established himself at Fir Park after being appointed as Craig Brown's successor at the end of December.
McCall, who famously served Bradford City, Everton, Rangers and Sheffield United during his playing career, has quickly ensured the Steelmen have been able to quickly forget Brown, who left in acrimonious circumstances to join Aberdeen.
His initial brief from chairman John Boyle was to earn a place in the top six, but he has already been able to exceed all performance targets, guiding Well to their first Scottish Cup final in 20 years, where they'll meet Celtic at Hampden on May 21.
In an exclusive interview with ESPNsoccernet, the former Bradford City manager reveals the reasons for his success.
"We're all in a results-driven industry and thankfully we're on a good run of form at Motherwell right now," McCall said. "I inherited a strong squad of players who are all competing for places and really trying to impress, particularly with a cup final on the horizon.
"I have even been forced to leave out players who have probably merited a place in the squad if not the starting team. That's the hard part about being a manager, but that hasn't stopped me enjoying my work. I love being out on the training ground working with my players.
"I'd like to think my enthusiasm has had a positive influence on the players and I've certainly been getting the right response. The prime example of that was last weekend against Hearts when we battled back from 3-0 down to earn a point.
"The game was a great advert for Scottish football and I am proud of the players for the way they fought back. I said at half time, regardless who gets the next goal we need to play to the final whistle and they certainly did that - we were always going to create chances."
After earning a top-six slot, McCall wants to have a say in the destiny of the Scottish Premier League title chase. The former Scotland international will come up against familiar faces when his Motherwell side entertain Rangers.
He'll lock horns with his old Ibrox gaffer, Walter Smith, who is in his final season before being replaced by his assistant, and McCall's former team-mate, Ally McCoist.
McCall said: "Now we're in the top six, let's see what we can do against the other teams. I'm looking forward to facing up to Walter and Ally this weekend because of the wonderful memories I have of working with them.
"Walter has enjoyed a fantastic managerial career and Ally has been groomed for the role for a number of years so it was an opportunity he couldn't turn down.
"A lot will depend on what happens with the takeover in terms of what Ally will have to work with. I hope he does really well and I'll be wishing him all the best in his new role once our fixture is out of the way.
"We've had some mixed results against Rangers and we were hard done by when we only just lost to them 2-1 in the League Cup semi-final.
"We also suffered a heavy 6-0 defeat to them at Ibrox, which was the worst day in my Motherwell managerial career, but when you're up against either half of the Old Firm and you don't have a full strength side to pick from that can happen.
"Perhaps this is an opportunity to put that result right because we want to have some sort of influence in where the title ends up. We're away at Celtic on the last day of the league season who knows what could be at stake then.
"It'll be very tough against Rangers, particularly as they are getting some of their big-name players back from injury, but we'll be ready for them."
But while McCall is happy to bask in the limelight of a good run of form, it also brings an unexpected set of problems. Striker John Sutton netted twice in the 3-3 draw with Hearts to take his tally to 17 for the season, and it seems almost inevitable potential suitors will come calling in the summer.
McCall is urging the forward to sign on again at Fir Park as he looks to continue to build a squad capable of challenging on a regular basis.
"We have offered John the best deal we can, regardless if he goes on to score a hat-trick in the cup final or whatever. We have come in and we have tried to build an environment people enjoy working in, and they want to come and work to develop.
"I think John does enjoy it here. He has good friends and he knows he is thought highly of - and if the offer is good enough we will be delighted if he stays.
"I would imagine there are clubs in England and clubs like Hearts who would be interested in him. I spoke to his agent a month ago, and I was open with him - and he said he wouldn't speak to anyone else before he spoke to us.
"Sometimes it is not all about finance - it can be about job satisfaction. Bottom line is people wanting to come into work and enjoying themselves, but if the offer isn't enough we will need to look elsewhere, although I'd like to think there isn't the same financial pressure after reaching the cup final.
"I lost Mark Reynolds only a few weeks after I took over when he moved to Sheffield Wednesday, but things have changed since then."
If McCall continues to impress with Motherwell, it might not only be the players who are attracting interest from elsewhere.