Phil Bardsley has spoken of his admiration for Gus Poyet in a recent interview with the Daily Record, stating that the Uruguayan is among the most intelligent football people he's ever come across.
Bardsley couldn't stop heaping the praise on the manager who brought him back from oblivion to become a pivotal player in Sunderland's fight for survival;
We have a new manager, a new style and a new philosophy. We're encouraged to get on the ball and pass the ball.
As a person, the manager is different class. He is the type I want to play for. He is genuine and I look forward to coming into work. But we don't take the kindness as a weakness. He still has his angry side.
He is the most intelligent football person I've met in a long time.
Some of the stuff he says is mind blowing. Tactically he is spot on. The gaffer could tell you weak and strong points of a player in the German fourth division.
It's very encouraging to hear from Bardsley that Poyet is wholly respected by him and the players. Something which couldn't be said under the reign of Paolo Di Canio. While the Italian inspired with bluster and hyperbole, it seems Poyet is more measured and calculating. Inspiring with tactical ingenuity, knowledge and intelligence.
Bardsley also explained how he felt that his broken foot this summer was a blessing in disguise;
First and foremost, I wanted to get my Sunderland career back on track and get back to enjoying football again.
During the tough times I never lost focus. It was just injuries I sustained. I broke my foot in a pre-season reserve game at Bolton and in a strange way that worked out well for me because I probably would have left this club if I was fit.
It was crushing at the time but it was a blessing in disguise.
I never lost belief in my ability to play at a high level. I had a great pre-season in Holland with the youth players. It was refreshing to spend time with young lads desperate to progress.
Now I'm back in first-team football and it feels even better.
Completing his comeback from the brink, Bardsley has recently been rewarded with a recall to the Scotland fold, which is the least he deserves.
Out of contract this summer, it would be surprising if Bardsley wasn't donning the red and white next season too. I'd be glad to see him do so. I never thought I'd be saying that in August 2013.