Fabio Capello believes England's players are starting to regard him as more of a human figure, after the Italian modified his approach to management in order to get the best from his squad.
The Three Lions boss revealed how he has learned a lot since taking charge of the national team at the start of 2008, saying he understands more about the English culture, and feels he is getting on better with individuals as a result.
England's dismal performance at last summer's World Cup has commonly been attributed to Capello's strict regime, that put unnecessary pressure on the nation's underperforming stars.
But he has since responded with a revised, more flexible and relaxed approach, that looks to be paying off in terms of performances on the pitch, as players become more accustomed to life in the England camp.
"They understand me better," confirmed Capello. "Now they understand I am not an ogre. I am always focused during training. We work for an hour, or 90 minutes. Afterwards I am relaxed and they can do anything."
As he prepares for tonight's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales at Wembley, Capello and Co. are in a strong position, sitting three points clear at the top of Group G. Another victory will almost certainly confirm their place in next summer's tournament.
When quizzed about the difference between England's pre-World Cup squad, and the confident group of players that Capello now has at his disposal, the 65-year-old revealed how a series of small changes implemented by himself and the players has had a positive impact.
"You have to try and meet in the middle," he continued. "That's a good position [to be in].
"[Now] I understand something about the English players, the English managers, the style, the news, where I live.
"It's not a question of discipline. It's respect. Respect is so important."
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