Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has said that his man-management was the most important factor and biggest change that he brought to the Stadium of Light.
Allardyce arrived on Wearside back in October after the dismissal of former coach Dick Advocaat and brought a new, scientific approach to their game. That, combined with some excellent recruitment in January, eventually led to their survival in the English top flight at the expense of bitter rivals Newcastle United.
However the 61-year-old believes that his handling of individual players was the most important factor in the club securing their 10th consecutive English top-flight season.
Allardyce told the the Chronicle that man-management is the "biggest part of the job" in modern football and that it is about your "guidance and determination," "belief," and "desire to achieve certain goals" that prove crucial.
He continued, saying if you "manage" the staff and players and make "tough decisions" then you hope to "earn the respect" of them. He also said that he tries to make the club atmosphere "warm and inviting" and that the man-management has "always been good" for him and has "worked quite well."
Taught me well
This season has seen the vast improvement in a number of players, with the likes of Patrick van Aanholt, DeAndre Yedlin, Vito Mannone and Jermain Defoe all seeing benefits from their time spent with Allardyce.
However, a ringing endorsement has come from higher powers, with Bolton Wanderers and Real Madrid legend Ivan Campo stating that the coach taught him everything he knows during his time with the Lancashire club.
He told 888sport that Allardyce taught him "everything" he knows after he made his move from Spain to England. The defender says his manager also taught him how to "adjust to life" to the English top-flight.
Campo continued, saying that Allardyce is a "great coach" and that his man-management was the "reason" he was able to "attract the top talent" - like legendary defender Fernando Hierro - to the Reebok Stadium.