ROME may not have been built in a day but it didn’t take Kenny Black much longer to swap the Eternal City for Valley Parade.

The Scotsman was enjoying a family holiday in the Italian capital this summer when his mobile buzzed.

Old pal Stuart McCall was on the other end of the line – and the management duo were about to get back in business.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind,” admitted the new City number two. “I was in Rome when I got the phone call from Stuart and obviously he was away on holiday at the time as well.

“He flew in for the interview and then had to fly back and then it was just a case of him deciding.

“It probably took less than three or four days in total because we were both really desperate to get back involved in the game.”

When McCall first accepted the City helm in 2007, he turned to trusted friend and team-mate Wayne Jacobs.

But in Scotland, his management career has been forged alongside Black. Together they worked the miracle at Motherwell to third place in the Scottish Premier League and then successive seconds despite seeing the playing budget cut each time.

Black then followed McCall to Ibrox in the spring of 2015 for their brief spell in charge of Rangers – when ironically it was Motherwell who emphatically ended their promotion dream in the play-offs.

Rangers, still caught up in off-field strife at the time, probably weren’t ready to return to the top flight at that point. McCall and Black were not kept on as they looked south of the border to Mark Warburton.

So both spent last season on the look-out for pastures new – Black, the older man by seven months, filling the void by doing some scouting.

With McCall’s close links with City, Black needed no persuading to seize the opportunity offered by Edin Rahic and Stefan Rupp.

He said: “We wanted to get back in at a club and obviously this is one that is very, very close to Stuart’s heart. You can see that with the passion he shows for this club.

“That in itself has helped. Coming into a new club and new surroundings, he can certainly point us in the right direction.

“He’s got a great affinity with the place and from day one, the club have been excellent in looking after us and making sure we’ve settled in quickly which we’ve needed to do.

“We’ve had to hit the ground running in terms of watching games and players and dealing with the players that we currently have.

“It’s been hectic – but it’s been good how it has started.”

Black, who had four years as Airdrie manager before joining McCall at Motherwell, has previous experience of the English game.

A hard-working midfielder as a player, he spent two years in the second tier with Portsmouth and made over 60 appearances for the south-coast club.

There was an also an ill-fated spell on the coaching staff at Leicester a decade ago under former Scotland manager Craig Levein.

Black added: “I really enjoyed my spell at Portsmouth as a player and it was good with Leicester but unfortunately that didn’t last as long as I would have liked.

“But coming to a big club again, we’ve got aspirations here to get into the Championship. The same can probably be said for quite a number of others.

“Being at Motherwell and Rangers and experiencing some good times there, I sincerely hope to transfer that to being down here.

“I did a bit of work last year when I was down in England and I’ve been living just outside Sheffield so I’ve seen a number of games.

“I saw Bradford a couple of times last season at Chesterfield and Sheffield United as well as a lot of teams in this division.

“You really want to catch up with the different styles and systems as well as the players you’ll be up against.

“That’s been the big difference because up in Scotland I knew the majority of players. But you get out and about to try and see as many games as you can to push your knowledge.

“I’ve been really pleased with the quality but not surprised. The standard in League One is up there certainly with the bottom half of the Premier division in Scotland.

“You look at the size of the attendances as well. Ours and clubs like Bolton, Sheffield United and Portsmouth have fantastic atmospheres in the grounds and that’s great to be involved in.”