SCOTT McDonald has credited Ian Holloway with changing his outlook – and making him re-think his future at Millwall.
The Australian has been a mainstay in the Lions side this season, starting and finishing all of their 13 Championship games.
McDonald is one of three players to clock up a maximum of 1170 minutes in the league.
After a disappointing first campaign with the club, McDonald now feels transformed – and says Holloway's influence has totally altered his mindset.
"I've got a better outlook and that's come from the manager," he told the Southwark News.
"He wants his players to enjoy their football and play with a smile on their faces. I've tried to take that on board and just relax.
"I am still very hard on myself but perhaps I am not as critical of my performances as I have been in the past – I've learned to lighten up a little bit.
"I'm trying to help other people within the squad as well – particularly the younger boys – and just be more of a senior professional."
Having been in and out of the side last year, McDonald is now one of the first names on Millwall's teamsheet, operating at the tip of midfield.
But aside from playing regularly, the 31-year-old's happiness is also tied to where he sees himself – and the club – in the future.
"There's a process and a plan now," he explained. "When I first came to the club, I got very frustrated in the beginning because it didn't feel like that was the case.
"Now there's a mindset of trying to get this club to where the manager wants it to be and I've really bought into that.
"I didn't come here to just be middle of the road – I've always wanted to achieve things in my career.
"I certainly feel that under this manager, everything is changing.
"The professionalism of the club has stepped up a level, from the improvements that have been made to the training ground to the new dressing rooms at The Den.
"The club has come on leaps and bounds under this manager. There is a big difference from when I first signed for Millwall a year ago.
"Step by step, we'll keep improving and the manager will get what he wants.
"Hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later because it's a short career and you want things to happen quickly.
"The manager has got a plan and he's staying here for the foreseeable future, so things are looking bright."
As for his own future, McDonald’s contract at The Den runs out next summer.
He added: "I'm really happy and settled.
"My family absolutely love it down here, the kids have settled at their schools and my wife's family are from Southampton, so we're not far away from them either.
"At my age, moving about when you've got kids is not what you want but most importantly you want to be playing and happy with your football, and I feel that right now.
"But I'm not thinking about my contract – I'm focused on playing every week and I'll let the other stuff take care of itself.
"It's easy to worry about things that you can't control. It will be discussed at a later time when the manager and the club thinks the time is right."