Cape Town - Free State Stars defender Robert Sankara has credited coach Ernst Middendorp for bringing self belief back to the team.
Ea Lla Koto are unbeaten since the German-born tactician took over, securing three wins and a draw in all competition, including their shock 1-0 Telkom Knockout victory over Bidvest Wits.
Prior to Middendorp's arrival, Stars went winless under Kinnah Phiri, who oversaw three consecutive losses at the start of the season before suffering the axe.
And, Burkina Faso international Sankara has applauded the impact Middendorp has made at the club.
"The confidence is back, the spirit of the players at training is even different now and the way we work has also changed," he told KickOff.
"The desire to play football with the intention of winning matches is also back. We are enjoying ourselves yet again.
"The tactics of the coach has brought confidence to the players now. When the coach arrived he told us that we must not afraid to play which is what we have done. The training sessions are always tactically designed.
"The coach always makes sure that he gets his message across in a way that is understood because he wants us to play and not feel the pressure."