Malky Mackay will put an acquaintance made in Spain on hold when Ross County come up against Graham Alexander’s Motherwell on Saturday.
Mackay and Alexander briefly played together during Berti Vogts’ reign as Scotland manager, with the pair also coming up against each other during their respective careers in English football.
It was during their mutual friend David Moyes’ tenure in charge of La Liga club Real Sociedad in 2015 that the pair came into their closest contact, when they were both invited to San Sebastian for a week-long training visit.
Mackay has fond memories of the chance encounter, which he counts as a valuable learning experience during a time when he was out of work.
Mackay said: “We both went over to see David Moyes at the same time when he was at Real Sociedad.
“We spent a bit of time together in San Sebastian as David’s guest. It was mid-season and we were both out of the game at the time.
“That was the measure of David Moyes. I got to know Graham even better and we have kept in touch since.
“It was great, we were able to watch the training. We saw every part of the club.
“It was great to go to a foreign club and to see the inner workings of it because our friend was the manager.
“We watched training every day and we were around David’s office and we went out for dinner with him at night.
“I have been in to see a few clubs, but David was terrific and he spent so much time with us and also took us around San Sebastian as well, for a bit of tapas and a glass of wine.
“Graham and myself had a terrific seven days.”
Mackay has been impressed by the early-season form shown by the Steelmen, whose 1-1 draw against champions Rangers at Ibrox last weekend followed a run of three straight victories.
He added: “It will be a tough game. They are a team who are in a good vein of form.
“Graham is settling in his second year at Motherwell and he is starting to get the team he wants on the pitch, with some more fresh paces this summer.
“He has a frontline that has scored goals, caused problems and they are a team who score goals from set pieces. We have to be on our mettle because it will be a tough game for us.”
The Staggies go into the trip to Fir Park with three points from their opening six matches, with Mackay encouraged with the way his side has dealt with a challenging run of opening fixtures.
County drew 2-2 at home to Hearts last weekend, and Mackay added: “I am looking at performances and the way we play, because if we keep playing like that we will be OK.
“Looking at the last couple of games, look at the way we are playing and the chances we are creating against top teams I am really happy with.
“If I look at it overall, the first half against Hibs and first 20 minutes against Rangers I was distinctly unhappy with, but after that I haven’t been unhappy with my team over those six games with the way they have played.
“You saw that on Saturday with a Hearts team who are top of the league coming up here with five attackers on the pitch, trying to blow us off the pitch, but we went toe-to-toe with them and probably should have nicked it in the last minute.”