Mick McCarthy once described Kevin Doyle as "priceless", a talent that rival clubs would have to offer "the earth, moon and the stars" to acquire.
That was back in 2010 when McCarthy was managing Wolves and then Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni had suggested that Doyle should leave the Molineux to ply his trade at a bigger club. Arsenal were circling.
That move never materialised but it showed just how highly McCarthy rated the Wexford attacker.
There was always a mutual respect between Doyle and his old gaffer, a healthy relationship that never frayed even when Doyle fell out of favour towards the end of McCarthy's long reign at Wolves. Doyle valued McCarthy's honesty, his manner and no-nonsense style.
It's why he anticipates the 60-year-old will make a swift, positive impact on this current batch of Ireland players in his second stint at the helm.
McCarthy, he says, is a players' manager.
"He's just a nice man to work for," Doyle told RTÉ Sport. "He's a very good communicator, he likes talking to you - in training, one on one - and not just about football. He makes you feel relaxed in general, asks about your family. He's good with people.
"That's a big side to his management. In general, players like him and like to play for him. That's half the battle."
Much has been made about Ireland's style of play under Martin O'Neill, and Trapattoni before him. It has, it's fair to say, not been too easy on the eye. Will McCarthy loosen this Irish side up?
"I played for him at Wolves where we weren't a big team in the Premier League so we were always fighting to survive. That brings with it certain tactics," Doyle added.
"You have to be pragmatic, play a certain way. But it wasn't like we went out and winged it; we worked very hard at the way we played. He'll be the same with Ireland.
"He puts a lot of trust in the video department and sports science department. He's not old school in that regard, that's for sure.
"It's quite a new squad. In the last two years there's been a big turnover of players. Mick hasn't had any friendlies which is unusual. He's come in, he's had three or four days to work with them and then a game. That's his biggest issue."
The home clash with Georgia on Tuesday is widely being perceived as McCarthy's first real test but Gibraltar will hardly roll over at the tiny Victoria Stadium.
They previously had to play competitive games in Faro, hosting Nations League games last year for the first time in the 2,000-capacity arena, which has now been deemed suitable for Saturday’s qualifier.
Wins over Liechtenstein and Armenia gave the Rock a huge shot in the arm. They have nothing to lose and zero pressure on their shoulders. This is a banana skin Ireland must be wary of.
"I'd have liked Ireland to be be playing at home against someone a little stronger," says Doyle.
"Gibraltar is not easy. I played them before; we didn't play in Gibraltar, we played them in Portugal on a grass pitch. Now Ireland are playing on an astro pitch against a team who have a bit of confidence. They had a good Nations League, won some games. I'd just be happy to get the three points whatever the score is. I wouldn't be expecting fantastic football.
"People are sort of writing it off thinking, 'aw Gibraltar, great start'... I just think it's in a small stadium on a tough surface. It's not going to be easy.
"Anything other than a win is a disaster, and that brings pressure. Mick is used to that sort of pressure. He's managed in international football before, he's managed in high-pressure situations. Still, it's the first game with a new bunch of players.
"I know people will be saying, 'it's Gibraltar, you should be going there and winning easy', but there's no such thing as an easy game. I know it's a cliche but it's a fact. They will be really up for it."
Doyle scored 14 times for his country and was a good foil for Ireland's greatest ever goalscorer Robbie Keane, who's in the dugout in a coaching capacity tomorrow evening.
Goals have been hard to come by since the Tallaght man hung up his boots but Doyle is backing Sean Maguire, with a bit of luck and a burst of confidence, to change that.
"Seanie Maguire has proven he can score goals. We just need him to get one or two at international level to get him going, to give him that kick-start.
"We're missing Shane Long, and he's an option Mick will be disappointed to be missing because he's the one really quick player we have in an attacking sense that can make a difference.
"It's the first game for a new manager - you always get that adrenaline, everyone wants to show what they can do.
"All the players are well able to play... it's just about getting them to gel. It's not like he's taking over a squad of 22 players who've been together for a number of years. There's a lot of lads new to international football."
Follow Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland (kick-off 5pm) with our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online or the RTÉ News Now app, watch live on RTÉ2 or listen live on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport