Motherwell manager Graham Alexander has brought a new routine with him to Fir Park as the training programme is altered.
The Well boss has enjoyed a pretty positive start to life at Fir Park, winning two games, drawing two and losing two of his opening six games, the two defeats away to Aberdeen and Celtic. Another big game awaits the Well on Wednesday as they head to Kilmarnock, the Steelmen currently sat in ninth place as performances pick up.
Alexander arrived at Fir Park last month after a spell as manager with Salford City and he’s brought with him a new approach to training: “We have been doing a lot of thinking. During Covid-19 last year at my previous club (Salford City), we had numerous Zoom calls with the staff about our structure, how we improve everything, as it’ll be a new start when we come back.
“We trained afternoons instead of mornings to coincide with kick-off times. We think it’s practical. We do gym sessions every day instead of the traditional one or two every week. It’s not to say anything was wrong or works better, but we have did a lot of research.
“We have spoken to people outside of football about and we included players at previous clubs in discussions to get their thoughts on it. The players have responded to it well here and we feel it has its benefits.”
While the day at Fir Park does look different for the players at Motherwell, Alexander has been pleased with the players’ response: “I think it’s important the players buy into the structure and ideas. But we don’t do things on a feeling – it’s evidence based decisions- and there’s a lot of evidence around why we do what we do over so many aspects of the day.
“Personally, we couldn’t think of a reason why training started at the time of day you never play at. Common sense told us that and we tried to find the reason for that. We couldn’t, apart from tradition. We work slightly earlier than in my previous club so there’s room to adjust.
“If we feel it’s right and there’s evidence to suggest it’s right, why not try it? We continued as it was before during our first week, starting at 10:30AM, but they were still here at 3PM anyway! That’s when we knew we could make the changes.”
Alexander’s well aware of the ever-changing nature of football in the modern game and he knows it’s important to adapt. But so far, the new methods in North Lanarkshire appear to have created a positive atmosphere.
The Well boss explained: “It doesn’t impact on the players’ actual hours. We don’t need to get in until 10AM but people like Allan Campbell are here at 8AM anyway, he loves the place and I love that. I love when players enjoy being around the football club. It’s a sign that your club is in the right place.
“We know the position and results have to improve but the general environment is a good one. We explain everything we do to the players and allow them to provide a counter-argument. Circumstances sometimes dictate we need to change some aspects.
“I’m not claiming to be a revolutionary and a trendsetter, I just feel that the way we work is good and there’s reason behind it. We will have improvements. As a young manager seven or eight years ago, you only know what you have done before.
“You have to continue learning and have an open-mind about things. If you go along your life saying ‘this is how we have always did it’ then I don’t think you’ll last long in football.”
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