Alex McLeish has told his Birmingham City players to adopt the sentiment of the club anthem: Keep Right On.
McLeish made nine changes to his starting side for the Carling Cup victory over MK Dons on Tuesday.
And his new signings, and players who have been left frustrated on the sidelines in the opening weeks of the season, responded.
McLeish recalled a similar situation he found himself in at Aberdeen under Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I was having a problem with form. I volunteered to play in a reserve game to try and get my confidence and form back. I didn’t do very well.
“It was still evident I needed to find my rhythm again. Fergie was going to leave me out.
“I said ‘look, play me, I won’t let you down’. He did, and after the game he said ‘you’re back’,
“So I was obviously under a bit of pressure in the game and had the mental toughness to come through it and play under that pressure and get back in Fergie’s good books again.
“That’s what the players have got to do here. Just do what they can. There’s a lot of them knocking at my door wanting to play, and when an opportunity comes they have to respond.”
McLeish also warned, however: “There’s no guarantees I won’t change a winning team because we’re looking at loads of competition, different tactics, formations and I have to try and win games for Birmingham City.
“If I do that everyone benefits, including the players.”
McLeish, meanwhile, has said that Barry Ferguson had to think carefully about reviving his international career.
Ferguson talked along the lines of ‘never say never’ when his retirement from the Scotland team cropped up again.
It seems unlikely, in truth, but McLeish said: “It’s Barry’s decision and it’s obviously still eating at him and I think Craig Levein is trying to influence him to go back. I don’t blame Craig at all. I’d probably do the same thing.
“But it’s up to Barry. We have two hard games coming up, Scotland - Czech Republic and Spain – and I know Barry would excel in the company of those two teams and then he would have to come back and play at the Emirates against Arsenal. So it’s a big ask, for a player of 32.”