JOHN TOSHACK has praised Ian Rush's decision to cut his managerial teeth in the lower divisions - despite axing him from his Wales job.
Brian Flynn's appointment signalled the end of Rush's tenure as the national under-17 coach, leaving him to concentrate on his day-to-day work with League Two outfit Chester.
But Toshack said the former Liverpool striker's decision to tough it out in the football basement was the right way to do things.
"Rushie should be commended for what he's done," said Toshack.. "To go down to the bottom division doesn't do you any harm long term.
"When you have to go up to places like Rochdale and Darlington, lose and have a player sent off and then travel back on the motorway in the middle of the night when there's only lorry drivers about then you start to wonder if you want this kind of life.
"And even more so when you used to be playing in front of 65,000 every week. To go down is tough."
Rush's choice to start on the bottom managerial rung echoes Toshack's first dugout duty at (then) Fourth Division Swansea 26 years ago.
And the Wales manager insists it is still the best way to learn the trade.
He said: "You have to survive five, 10, 15 years. Go and learn your trade and take your experience from it.
"Rushie has got a difficult job and we're watching him and wishing all the best, as we are with Chris Coleman (Fulham) Mark Hughes (Blackburn) and Dean Saunders (Newcastle coach) and maybe they will be involved with Wales again. But let them survive for 10 years first.
"It is very important he (Rush) learns his trade and concentrates all his efforts into that."