Promising St George Illawarra prop Jack de Belin says coach Paul 'Mary' McGregor's no-nonsense approach will be crucial to the club's revival in the next few seasons.
De Belin, who has already played under three coaches in his four-year career, said McGregor's promotion to head coach was a necessary change after three average seasons for the club.
"I debuted under Wayne [Bennett] and everyone knows what kind of coach and figure he is. When he left, there were a couple of good years under Pricey but I feel it got a bit stale and a few of the boys lost a bit of confidence and were in no man's land in a sense, me included," de Belin told NRL.com.
"But Mary has come in and given us a new sense of purpose and had a very clear direction in which way he wanted us to go. So for someone like me it was very beneficial and as you could see, the results started to come when he took over.
"There were plenty of disruptions in the season just gone so I guess you can say with Mary there he was able to put us in a good spot and hopefully we can kick on from that patchy back of the year we had."
McGregor's promotion, after serving his time as Illawarra Cutters head coach and assistant coach to Price, has seen the former Kangaroos centre's truthfulness shine through.
While at times "you might not want to hear it", McGregor's hard truths were best for the team, de Belin said.
"He is very upfront and honest, Mary, which is a great quality to have in a coach," he said.
"At the same time too he is very positive and if you are doing something right he is quick to let you know.
"He is a good bloke and great coach and he is pushing each and every one of us to new levels, and we're definitely going to enter the 2015 season strong."
Now with the Dragons revitalising the club from head to toe – with new facilities, faces and staff coming to the club in preparation for 2015 – de Belin said McGregor is bringing in different expectations from past seasons.
"[Mary] is chasing all of his expectations," de Belin said. "Hopefully we do well because a lot of the boys are keen to do a lot better than what we did last year."