Gillingham midfielder Kevin Maher has hailed manager Mark Stimson for improving the atmosphere at Priestfield.
The 32-year-old spent a spell on loan with the Gills as they unsuccessfully battled against relegation in 2008 and has now returned to Kent permanently after a year with Oldham.
He told KentNews: "The change is remarkable really. I think credit to the manager for that, he's stuck to his principles and he's turned it around. No-one wanted to go down (to League Two) at the time but maybe it can work in your favour in the long run.
Stimson has almost completely overhauled the squad since his appointment in November 2007 - just three senior players from before then are still involved - and Maher believes that has completely changed the club.
"There's a real buzz around the place now, it's massively different to when I was here last time. What you notice most is the hunger the players have.
"You see it in training when people want to do extra work and that breeds a good ethic throughout the club. Standards have gone up."
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