Winger Roy Beerens has paid tribute to coach Gertjan Verbeek for giving him a new lease of life at Eredivisie leaders AZ Alkmaar.
Beerens has impressed for his new club after his summer move from Heerenveen and believes Verbeek has played a key role in his revival.
The 23-year-old told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant: "I'm revived at AZ. I feel liberated.
"His personal approach appeals to me. He says what I can and cannot do, or that I should try this or that.
"We talk specifically about my position and express our opinions to each other. That makes me better.
"He gets me, what's on the inside.
"I can play freely, on the wing or inside, so that I can create for my team-mates. I'm not in a fixed role and that's just fine."
AZ have picked up 18 points from their seven league games so far to sit two points clear at the summit of the Dutch top-flight.
Verbeek's side have also enjoyed an impressive start to their UEFA Europa League Group G campaign, beating Swedish side Malmo 4-1, while a trip to Metalist Kharkiv awaits on Thursday night.
But Beerens is not getting carried away just yet, either with domestic or European matters.
"How long will we stay ahead? I do not know," he said. "The fact is that we can play football and that we always try to put on a good show.
"We are all very fit. We have a busy programme with lots of midweek matches in the Europa League, where we can do well too.
"But it is not realistic to say that we have already won the title. Let's first get through the winter. Crazy things can happen in football."