Mick Harford has heaped praise on the job being done by Jack Ross at promotion rivals Sunderland, given the situation he inherited in the summer.
Sunderland had suffered successive relegations and the squad needed a major overhaul in order to stand a chance of bouncing back at the first attempt.
With the recruitment help of Tony Coton and new owner Stewart Donald Sunderland are well placed, despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Luton Town.
Harford was in caretaker charge of Luton for the top-of-the-table clash following Nathan Jones’ move to Stoke City.
A boyhood Sunderland fan, Harford also represented his hometown club for a brief spell in 1993 during an illustrious playing career.
Harford said: “I have a lot of admiration for Jack Ross, he has built a good team in a short space of time.
“He has them galvanised, has some real good players and he has recruited very well alongside my best mate Tony Coton, head of recruitment at Sunderland
“Jack is doing a great job. Sunderland fans want to see an attractive team, people who have a go and work hard, I am a Sunderland fan.
“If the players don’t work hard then the fans won’t turn up, you saw there was almost 40,000 fans here for a League One game which tells you.
“Is he doing a good job? Absolutely, yeah, and in a short space of time because he had a lot of s**t to sort out, really! As we all know.”
Harford paid an emotional tribute to his players and the fans following a ‘whirlwind’ couple of days. Harford added: “I haven’t been in management for 12 years so it is a bit alien to me but once the game kicked off the players made me feel comfortable the way they went about their jobs.
“The players were excellent and were a great credit to themselves and the football club.”