Shane Long already likes what he has seen from Steve Clarke in the early days of his first stint as a full-time manager.
Clarke's role at West Brom, where he succeeded Roy Hodgson, is the first time the Scot has taken the manager's chair after a string of coaching jobs at Newcastle United, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Long was with the Irish squad at Euro 2012 when Clarke was appointed, but he has been impressed by his new boss in the short time of working for him since returning for pre-season training.
"He just seems like a natural No.1 to me, the way he's come in and spoken to the players," said Long.
"Coaching-wise, he's fantastic. He knows the game inside out and what he wants his players to do
"He puts that across well on the training pitch. It's a bit of a change for us and it's going to take a few games for us to get the hang of it, and get that passing game going, but it's enjoyable football and I think the lads will really enjoy playing for him."
Clarke's man-management has also made an impression on Long, who makes favourable comparisons with some of the managers he has worked for previously.
He added: "He rang me while I was in Poland and he seemed to know my game pretty well.
"He knows how to utilise me and what my strengths and weaknesses are. It's a new test for me.
"I've been lucky enough to work under some brilliant managers in my time, the likes of Brendan Rodgers and Steve Coppell, and now there's another added to the list in the gaffer here.
"They all have different takes on the game and I'm learning every step of the way. I'm enjoying my football and hopefully he sees me as a starting No.9."