Saints leaving no stone unturned to gain advantage

James Gray invited a psychologist to talk to the squad last week.

James Gray invited a psychologist to talk to the squad last week. - Credit: Archant

University of Hertfordshire psychologist drafted in to speak to the squad

St Albans City are leaving no stone unturned as they look to secure their place in the Conference South and push up the table next season.

The Saints are currently 16th in the league, 13 points clear of safety, with six games remaining. Another season in the Conference South looks all but certain but there are plenty of areas to address ahead of next year, the most pressing of which is the number of losses, 17.

In an effort to gain any kind of edge over their opponents, the club brought in a psychologist from the University of Hertfordshire to speak to the players last week.

“It’s something that the professional teams do. At the top level it’s quite high on their agenda: the psychological and mentality side of football,” said joint manager James Gray.

“At time this season I’ve labelled our boys as a little bit naïve, and, in certain games, mentality-wise we haven’t been up to the task. For me, I never turn my nose up at anything; if it can get an extra one or two per cent out of the players then it’s an added bonus.”

The first session involved the entire squad but Gray, who has set up weekly sessions for the players with the psychologist that coincide with training, wants more one-on-ones.

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“I know for a fact that three or four of the lads would be interested. [The psychologist] wants to do one-on-ones because the players won’t open up in a big group,” he said.

“If the players think he might help then I’m all for it.”