Former Northern Ireland midfielder Michael O'Connor has given a unique insight into the workings of new international manager Ian Baraclough.
O'Connor has seen at first hand the impressive work that Michael O'Neill's successor does on the training ground having played under him when Baraclough took his first steps in management at Scunthorpe.
His spell in charge lasted only six months, but O'Connor, who enjoyed a close working relationship with Baraclough, believes that even an experienced manager would have found it difficult in the circumstances the club were in at the time.
"He had just finished playing when I signed and straight away he joined the coaching staff under Nigel Adkins," said O'Connor.
"As a coach his sessions were high intensity and the sessions he put on along with Andy Crosby, who I know he had working alongside him with the Under-21s, were unbelievable. They were top, top coaches and the three of them together kept us in the Championship the first season I was there.
"The drills he put on were brilliant and the lads all bought into his coaching.
"As a manager, he was only there six months and he was on a hiding to nothing. He did well at the start. We beat Sheffield United 4-0 in his first game and he was probably thinking, 'This management lark is easy'. I remember we won away at Preston too, which was a really good result.
"We had been odds-on favourites to get relegated the previous season with the budget we had, but we managed to stay up. Nigel and Andy left a couple of months into the next season and Bara took over, but he had his hands tied from the very start.
"All our best players had been allowed to leave in the summer before and he took over a squad that realistically wasn't good enough to stay in the Championship. We were struggling and he got sacked, but he did the best he could with the budget he had.
"His strengths are on the training ground and that's maybe where you need to be strongest as an international manager. I am sure he has developed himself a lot since he was at Scunthorpe, which was nearly a decade ago.
"As an international manager you only get the players for a week to 10 days and you have a short time to drill in what you want. Looking at what he did with the Under-21s, he has done an unbelievable job."
Despite Scunthorpe's struggles, O'Connor enjoyed one of the most fruitful spells of his career during the six months under Baraclough, finishing as top goalscorer despite an injury-hit season with nine goals from midfield, which attracted attention in the January transfer window when West Ham United and Newcastle United were linked with the Belfast man.
"I know there were one or two other Championship clubs interested. I missed a couple of months with a knee injury but still finished with nine goals and I was playing well. It was tough in a struggling team. It was his first manager's job and it was a tough start, but he did well," said O'Connor.
"I've had it once or twice in my career when a coach has stepped up to be manager and that's difficult. It's hard to make that transition. As a coach you're the go between, you try to be everybody's mate.
"He changed. Not in a bad way, but he was different because he was the manager and you had to respect that and as a manager you want respect. I got on really well with him as a coach and his sessions were unbelievable."
It was a relationship that was tested, however, on one particular occasion.
"At the start he played me on the right. I played two or three games there and didn't think I was playing as well as I should have," O'Connor revealed.
"I went in to speak to him and said, 'I need to be playing in the middle. That's my position'.
"He felt the two who were playing in the centre were performing well, that I was doing well on the right and if I wanted to play in the centre I would have to wait for my chance.
"I thought that was fair enough, then got injured soon after."
Seven years after winning the last of his 11 caps in an ill-fated 3-2 defeat to Luxembourg in September 2013, O'Connor could soon be seeing a lot more of Windsor Park as he plans to return home to Belfast.
Linfield head the list of clubs who are keen to snap up the 32-year-old who, after becoming a free agent now a short-term deal with Salford City has come to an end, is packing his bags and coming home after 15 years in England.
Blues boss David Healy played alongside O’Connor in nine of the midfielder’s international appearances.