But he believes those managerial qualities which inspired the club to glory more than two decades ago are evident once again as his compatriot builds a second Anfield dynasty.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly concerned when Kenny took the job on," Nicol, who left New England Revolution this week, told the Liverpool Echo. "But that soon disappeared when I saw how the team was playing. I said to myself 'why did you ever doubt it? It was still the same Kenny.
"He's some guy and there's been a total turnaround under him.
"It's a combination of three things with Kenny. Firstly, he knows his way around a football field blindfolded. Secondly, his eye for a player is spot on and thirdly, his man-management is fantastic.
"If you do well you'll get a pat on the back but if you're not doing your job properly he will tell you. He makes it clear he's there to help you. When you've got those tools you've got a great chance of being successful.
"He has all the skills and he just needed the money to put the jigsaw together. The new owners have backed him and he's been able to strengthen the squad."