He came with a reputation for hard work and Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic is starting to see his methods paying off on the training paddock.
Perth have shrugged off their traditional early-season sluggishness to sit in second spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder with seven points from a possible nine.
Popovic revealed it was down to the players’ willingness to get stuck in and embrace the coaching change that has spurred their strong early start.
“I think the players drive that,” Popovic said.
“They come in every day, they work hard, they want to get better.
“They’re enjoying the start they’ve had but they want more of it and if they want more of it they have to keep working.”
Midfielder Neil Kilkenny echoed his manager’s thoughts, saying his teammates needed to ensure they don’t relax.
"We're happy with our start to the season," Kilkenny said.
“We're very organised and the manager is working us hard and is very demanding of us and that's great.
"As a team, you need that. Now it's starting to show on the pitch and it's fantastic to be a part of.
“But it's only three games in and we need to keep working hard and trying to get as many points on the board as possible, hopefully starting on Sunday.”
Glory travel to Adelaide on Sunday to take on a United team still on a high from winning the FFA Cup.
Popovic said they had done their research on Marco Kurz’s side including star man Craig Goodwin.
PREVIEW: Adelaide United vs Perth Glory
Goodwin, who was named in the extended Caltex Socceroos squad last Thursday, has been on fire this season, netting three goals in three games in the Hyundai A-League.
“He [Goodwin] might be up against our wing-backs more often than not but he does drift inside, he’s free in his movement and very confident,” Popovic said.
“They’re a very dangerous team, a very dynamic team, we played them in pre-season and that was my first real taste of what they’re doing in Adelaide.
“They’ve been together a year with this coach and you can see they’re doing well, they’ve got some momentum but so do we.”