Tony Mowbray has 25 different managerial styles, one for each of his West Bromwich Albion players.
The Albion manager, perhaps the most philosophical in the entire Football League, is an advocate of treating individuals according to their needs, rather than treating everybody as if they were all the same.
That is how he is so far succeeded in his bid to deal with personalities as contrasting as, say, Jason Koumas and Neil Clement.
Mowbray makes no apologies for such an approach — it served him well in two years as manager of Hibernian in Scotland — but he is learning as much about himself as he is about his players.
The career of Koumas had plateaued in the summer when he fell out with Bryan Robson, the previous Albion manager, and the damage seemed irreparable. But Koumas made peace, Robson departed (the two are unconnected), and Mowbray arrived with few preconceptions.
Clement is an altogether less emotional, more durable character. But he, too, needed encouragement at a time when he was recovering from a serious knee injury.
Had Mowbray treated both players the same, the consequences would have been impossible to predict. By treating them according to their needs, Mowbray has helped Koumas return to form, and Clement return to the squad ahead of schedule.
Few, if any, managers can bring out the best in Koumas, so Mowbray can at least feel some sense of satisfaction in seeing the Wales international midfield player flourish.
"You have to manage everyone differently," Mowbray said. "I'd like to think that I know what makes Jason Koumas tick. Somewhere down the line, when I do something that Jason doesn't like, because it needs to be said, that is fine. It is then how he would react.
"He is doing well. Our relationship is fine. He is scoring goals. But that doesn't mean to say that this will always be the case. What happens if he does not perform? Or if he does something we don't want? Or reacts in a certain way? That is football.
"It is my job to get the best out of the team. If people don't like it, that is fine; but they still have to get on with it. I have to build bridges. It is my job to produce results and improve footballers; put demands on them to bring out of them the best.
"It is about taking them out of their comfort zone, working them hard so that results will improve."
Clement has suffered, but for different reasons. A knee injury sustained halfway through last season diminished Albion in their battle to avoid relegation and shattered the defender, just as he was returning to form.
"I would suggest Neil Clement is a joy to work with," Mowbray said. "He doesn't give me a moment's problem, although that might change if he doesn't get into the team.
"He had five or six months out [sic, it was eight months] and now he is knocking on the door and telling me he is ready to play.
"And from what I have seen of him in matches, he has done well, been calm and assured. He can play a number of positions; centre back, full back, midfield. He is valuable to a squad. When his chance comes, he looks as if he will be ready to take it. He gets on with the job and enjoys his training."
Mowbray is not at The Hawthorns to make friends and he accepts that not all players will enjoy his way of managing Albion. He is less interested in personal popularity than team morale and less interested in team morale than in results.
"You learn things every day," Mowbray said. "The players are names on a piece of paper and then you come through the door, you see the personality, you see the character, you see how they react under pressure or if things are going well.
"You see the dynamics of the dressing room. You find out who are the strong personalities, who are not; You get to know how people tick.
"Somewhere along the line, the team on the pitch reflects the manager. You manage the players you have got. The players at Hibs were massively different from the players here. You do not modify your style. I manage each player differently, as I did at Hibs.
"You can never have everybody happy. Some people take criticism differently. Some do not understand a certain thing that a manager does. It is the same job, just dealing with different personalities."
"With just a few adjustments, the quality is there."
Mowbray has taken the most significant step towards settling in the area, acquiring a house and moving his family from Edinburgh to the Midlands. The job is no less complex now than it was when he took over on October 18 but many issues are more clear.
Without mentioning names, he appears to have decided on how much change is required in terms of personnel. And still the job is no less enjoyable. "I am enjoying it," he said. "It is has been a testing two months. But as far as this job goes, results dictate everything."
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