St Johnstone goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov has offered an insight into the coaching methods of Steven MacLean, insisting the Saints manager’s no-nonsense approach is working wonders in the newly formed young Perth dressing room. 

MacLean, who took over after Callum Davidson was sacked at the tail end of last season, has endured a difficult start to the current campaign, but after two draws in his last two games, things are slowly but surely picking up. 

The Saints 2014 Scottish Cup winning hero also had to deal with a complete squad overhaul this summer as 14 players departed McDiarmid Park, but he has now built a young and exciting team that he hopes will now become a force in the Scottish Premiership. 

Former Cambridge United goalkeeper Mitov has been the pick of the bunch so far in terms of MacLean’s signings, and he has been hugely impressed with the approach of his new manager. 

“He has been golden to me,” the 26-year-old explained. “He's honestly such a nice guy but also knows how to get the best out of his team.  

“We didn't have the best starts to the season, but we just have to believe and trust everything he says because the game against Celtic shows we are moving in the right direction. 

“If we play the way we did against Celtic but against other teams, we are actually going to be doing well. Everything he told me about how he wants his team to look, how he wants the club to look going forward has just suited me. 

“He has been brilliant to me. Not just to me, but I feel like he's been brilliant for the group. Everybody likes him. He's a great character and I am looking forward to working with him because he's different.  

“I had almost the same manager for six years at Cambridge, you know. So working with him now, just seeing different ideas, how he likes to play and stuff, it's completely different to what I have experienced in the past.  

“But I like it because I'm learning different things and I'm getting the best out of it. So it has definitely been enjoyable working under him.” 

After being knocked out of the League Cup at the group stage and also suffering league defeats to Hearts and Ross County, MacLean openly told his players if they were not up for the fight they could leave the club. 

MacLean’s straightforward approach has been a refreshing hit with Perth fans and Mitov admits the players are also reacting to the blunt talk. 

After Mitov’s heroics against Celtic, MacLean insisted the saves were just the Bulgarian’s job and the keeper was in full agreement.  

“I agree with him,” he said. “Absolutely. I'm a goalkeeper for a reason. My job is to save everything I can save and help the team as much as possible. 

“Obviously we didn't have that many players at the start. You know, he's openly said many times in the press that he needed players.  

“He wants his team to look completely different, and now he's signing his own players. Every player that plays is a player that he signed. 

“You can tell what he's trying to do. He's trying first and foremost to make us a team that is very hard to beat and to be compact. 

“We are also a very hard-working team and that is the minimum our manager requires from us. When you do all those things together and people work for each other on the pitch, you're going to be so much better than other teams, because everybody's giving 100 per cent and we don't have passengers.  

“We don't carry passengers. He's made it clear that if you don't do your job, you won't play. Simple as that. 

“Everybody's on it. Everybody's doing their job. Everybody's listening in the meetings, knowing before we go out on that pitch, that everybody knows their jobs.” 

Mitov knows St Johnstone were lucky to come away with a point against Dundee at the weekend as MacLean’s side battled back from two goals down via a late double from Ukranian Max Kucheriavyi. 

But the Bulgarian international, who was on the bench against Montenegro last night, insists Saints will be raring to go after the break as they go in search of their first league win. 

Hurting Rangers are next up for the Perth outfit and Mitov is confident he and his teammates can produce a result in the Fair City. He added: “We just have to now start backing it up. We need to start winning games. We can do all the training in the world, but if you don't win games, it doesn't really matter.  

“So for us now getting that point at Celtic and against Dundee was great, but we have to back it up with wins. 

“Big games mean a lot to the fans and also mean a lot to the players because we know that us players, if we win the game, everybody will love you. 

“That gives you an extra motivation and gives you that extra fuel in your body that you need to go there and perform. And especially when we play at home as well.  

“We want to make our place really difficult for teams to come and play against us. Because people say if you win your games at home and you then go away, you're going to have a pretty successful season.  

“So yeah, definitely a target for us to make our home a really difficult place for teams to come and we just have to go out there, trust the manager, trust what he wants from us just follow all the instructions, and I'm sure if we do that we will perform at our best and we’ll be in for a successful season.”