ST MIRREN boss Jack Ross has revealed how things like re-arranging the furniture and applying a fresh coat of paint have helped bring about a new winning mentality at the club. Saints head into Saturday’s Irn-Bru Cup final against Dundee United still bottom of the Championship but as the form team in the division with just one defeat from their last seven league games. Ross credited upturn in fortune to making small changes around the club and training ground.
He said: “The board have been supportive in changing bits and pieces around the place. From coats of paint to rooms being redone, we’ve rejigged things in terms of how stuff is organised. They’re things we’ve got to try and do to try to create a new atmosphere around the place.
“The training ground hadn’t changed a lot since I had been there as a player. When I walked back in as manager it felt like it was the same. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing because it is a good base but I just felt there were one or two things that needed improved upon, some of it structurally.
“Because of the chairman’s background in construction that made it easier because he has the contacts. But I felt it was important because we had to make more demands of the players - and if we are seen to be doing as much as we can to make the environment they work in more professional and comfortable then it gives us more right to demand of them.
“From a psychological point of view it also helps to have a fresh lick of paint to signify a fresh start. I’m quite into things like that, I’ve read quite a lot about the importance of your surroundings. I even changed my office around from the previous manager’s layout.
“It was only a case of turning the desk around the other way and moving a couple of things but it was simply for the players who had been there previously to see something different when they came to see the manager.
“It didn’t have an immediate effect because we didn’t have a dramatic turnaround in fortune but if you were to come to our training ground now there is a clear shift in how we operate. Previously we did our analysis in the canteen but we’ve now managed to jig things around so that we now have a specific analysis room. That just heightens the professionalism in our preparation.”
Another recent change was to hand Stephen McGinn the armband upon the midfielder’s return to the club in January and Ross praised his captain’s attitude.
Ross added: “He’s done exactly what I’d hoped he would do. He came here with two targets - to win this cup and stay in the league. We spoke about it before he signed, it was a challenge to do that.
“Giving him the responsibility of the captaincy was a gamble because, doing that mid-season, you run the risk of upsetting players. There are players already there and you have to make sure he’s the right type.
“But he’s grown into it. He’s thrived on it. What I like about him is when you speak to him you know he’s genuinely excited about potentially lifting this trophy. He was genuinely excited about leading the team out at Parkhead.
“He wears the armband with a real sense of pride. He will stay if we stay up. His contractual situation says that. He wants to play at this club and wants to get the club back to the Premiership. He and I share that common ambition.”
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