Dundee United manager Jim Goodwin believes that repeated change of managers at Tannadice has meant confusing messages for the players and added to their difficulties.
Goodwin was appointed to replace Liam Fox at the beginning of this month, Fox himself having replaced Jack Ross after disappointing early results.
The former Aberdeen and St Mirren boss came in to a side at the foot of the table and lacking any run of form, with Goodwin seeking to understand what had caused the group of players to underperform.
Asked if he had been able to identify any of the reasons for United’s predicament, he said that change could be a contributing factor.
“I have not been long out of being a player,” Goodwin said. “I have not forgotten what it feels like when you’ve got a change of manager and I’m the third manager of the season.
“It’s not ideal for anyone. It’s not ideal for the club, it’s certainly not what the board of directors would have anticipated at the start of the season when they appointed Jack Ross.
“Unfortunately results haven’t been good enough and a couple of managers prior to me have lost their jobs.
“That lack of stabiility has probably had an impact on the players.
“You’ve got three managers in one season giving three different messages. Sometimes your head is boggled by all the information that you are given.”
With that problem identified, Goodwin says he can’t risk making wholesale changes.
He explained: “I have come in in the last couple of weeks and I have really just tried to strip everything back and tried to simplify everything, just to try and get back to basics, not overloading them with information.
“There’s no time now for me to bed in a real football philosophy. That’s pre-season.
“I’ve got ten games to get as many points on the board as possible to ensure that we survive.
“It’s about work on the training pitch. I still think every player in the squad can get that little bit fitter and sharper over the next couple of months, so that’s my job right now.”