Sam Allardyce has brought in a mind specialist to help is Crystal Palace side avoid relegation
The mind specialist will be used in one-to-one situations to help clear players’ minds and give them a more positive focus after Allardyce accused them of going from the sublime to the ridiculous.
“Sometimes there is a stigma attached to such a person because they can get into players’ heads and help them to operate on a different level,” said Allardyce.
“They can look at the underlying deep problems and help out when things are not going right like now. It gives us another string to our bow in how we deal with pressure.
“I have used one for over 20 years and he has definitely made me a better manager. It has certainly helped me.
Crystal Palace are currently 19th in the table
“Lee but is very important in what we are trying to achieve. The idea is to help the lads focus.”
Allardyce has turned to Lee Richardson, who he has worked with since their days at Blackburn, to try to kickstart Palace’s fight to stay up, having ordered his first-team squad in for 7am training last Sunday after their defeat to Sunderland.
“Last week we went from the sublime to the ridiculous, beating Bournemouth away then losing 4-0 at home to Sunderland. Now we need help,” he said.
“I needed to make my players uncomfortable. We were able to watch together why we made the mistakes we did and commit the errors that saw us concede four goals before half-time.
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“If they didn’t realise the situation at the time, then they had another chance to see where it all went so wrong.”
Palace, one place off the foot of the Premier League, are at Stoke this afternoon and Allardyce added: “We are now one of the favourites to get relegated, so that is more pressure we have to live with.
“Since I came here Palace have not got the good results I expected, and last week’s result at home to Sunderland was frightening. It was like we had a different team to the one that beat Bournemouth four days earlier.
“The players had their own meeting last week, but we need help mentally. You can see from results over the last 12 months that there has been a deep underlying problem and Lee will be as vital as a first-team coach or assistant manager in getting into the players’ minds, improving concentration and focus.
“Because of him I can now deal with the pressure, but I admit, previously it hasn’t taken this long to turn things around.”