CHIPPENHAM Town’s stunning upturn in form has been a group effort in the dugout, according to boss Mike Cook.

After an eight-game winless streak in National League South, the Bluebirds have abruptly turned a corner for the better.

Saturday’s 2-1 victory over relegation rivals St Albans City saw Chippenham leap up to 14th with a fourth win out of five and move four points clear of the relegation zone.

Cook, however, was keen to share the praise among his entire backroom team for bringing out the best in the squad inherited from Mark Collier.

“They’re a pretty honest group, they’re a good group, they’re one of the better teams that I’ve ever coached,” Cook said. “There is a lot of ability in that changing room, and I’ve said that from the moment I came in.

“Mark Collier has done a good job and he’s recruited well, but it was just a case of the new management team really tweaking a few different positions and getting a new mental approach for a couple of the players.

“We identified potential weaknesses we had in the previous system and then going on to make them into strengths, which I think is what we’ve been able to do over the past five or six weeks.

“We’ve had some individual conversations with people and asked them what their problems were.

“On the very first training night we almost said: ‘look, here’s a blank bit of paper, just tell us what’s been going well and what needs to be worked on’.”

Since arriving at Hardenhuish Park Cook has brought in a new, bigger coaching staff.

That has been vital to perfecting both plans on the pitch and the mindset of his players.

Cook continued: “Along with our coaching staff and our analysis guys, without those four or five people I think I become very average.

“But with those four or five people, they help us fine tune plans well enough to get a result or getting into somebody’s mind or motivate them.

“We are first and foremost football coaches, but we were also all a little bit like sports psychologists when we first came in.

“We’ve had individual talks and group talks, but we don’t always lead the group talks. Sometimes the players do that, and sometimes those discussions can be heated when it needs to be. Sometimes it is a pleasant discussion about things that we’ve done particularly well.

“The players have got to take huge credit, but the coaching staff definitely have as well because they’re identifying things that have been working for us.”