Dundee boss Mark McGhee has revealed that his players have made him pledge to go naked for a week if the relegation-threatened team can beat St Johnstone this weekend.
The Dens Park side are six points behind 11th-placed Saints and are aiming for a win to give them hope as they begin their five post-split Premiership fixtures.
McGhee said earlier this week that he had switched off his heating and put himself on a diet to let the cold and hunger focus his mind on the significance of the game, and said that the sacrifice might serve as an inspiration to his players.
The approach drew plenty of attention for being unconventional but the manager, who has yet to see his team win in ten games in charge, thinks it can work.
Asked if it was having an impact, McGhee said: “I think it is. Some people might understand what I was trying to do and other people think it’s funny.
“I tried to make it light-hearted in a way. I could have chosen anything.”
Dundee’s players have responded with a suggestion of their own.
“The boys have made me promise that if we beat St Johnstone then I have got to go naked for a week, which is not going to help anyone, but you have just got to do something,” the manager said.
“You have got to do something to psychologically remind yourself and put yourself under a bit of pressure, because there is a big game coming. I think the players understand the message I am trying to give.”
Key to turning the season around will be the attitude on the training ground, according to McGhee, who said he could draw on his own experience as a player and see what is needed.
“It’s not just sacrifices, it’s thinking slightly differently, being aware of the game, training with a bit more intensity, and as I have said, preparing for training better, he said.
“I have often said to people, if I did anything in my career that I could do again, it would be prepare for training. We have prepared really well for games but we turned up and trained. Now, I look back and think, if I had prepared for training I would have been a better player.
“We have kept the intensity and quality in training. We are trying to make sure it’s not just about running and fighting. We know that St Johnstone are going to fight us. If it’s a square go, then anything could happen.
“We know as well as matching them physically and earning the right to play, we have to also get the ball down at times and play and be creative and score goals.
“We have tried to remind them about how good they can be and how much better they can be than they have been at times this season.”
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