Leeds United's Harry Kewell claims sacked Elland Road boss Terry Venables is the best manager he has worked for.
The timing of Kewell's praise for Venables may embarrass Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale, who dismissed the former England coach after a troubled season.
Kewell, who also played for Australia under Venables, made his comments praising Venables in the club's official magazine.
He said: "This season Terry has done wonders for me. He picked up my game because I was going through a bad patch.
"He is the best manager for me so far, so I cannot complain."
Kewell has opened talks with Leeds on a new £48,000-a-week contract.
And he admits he will be indebted to Venables for switching him from a wide role into the centre.
He said: "Ever since Terry has known me he has always played me up front.
"I'm just grateful he gave me the opportunity. I always thought I could do a job in that position and he gave me licence to do it."
New Leeds caretaker boss Peter Reid wants to keep Kewell in the danger areas.
He said: "I don't want Harry stuck on the left. I want him getting into dangerous areas and running off people like Ryan Giggs does for Manchester United."