David Pleat is an admirer of the way Chris Coleman has negotiated the transition from player to manager at Saturday's opponents Fulham.
The former Welsh international took over from the departed Jean Tigana in April 2003 and the positive response to his appointment sees Fulham sit seventh in the Premiership table.
Coleman, whose playing career was effectively ended by a serious car accident, has cut an impressive figure over the course of the campaign so far and David feels evidence of his progress as a manager was shown in his dealing with the recent furore over the transfer of Louis Saha to Manchester United.
"Absolutely, he has done very well and handled the press well - especially all the niggling that he had to suffer about Saha," commented the acting boss.
"He has been sensible, shown discretion, has certainly got his team playing to their abilities and it is early days.
"If he does well again next year then he is really making strides. He has a wonderful opportunity, to have an apprenticeship in the Premier League with the very best players, at the very best stadiums, with the very best crowds is like an acceleration of everything he will need.
"I am delighted for him. Although I believe managers should serve an apprenticeship in the lower leagues, he wasn't a so-called international star who just walked into the job because he won 120 caps.
"They saw something in him, qualities of loyalty, leadership and organisation. Deciding to put him in control seems to be a winning decision at the moment."