FOOTBALLERS are not always an easy audience to impress.

New faces and new ideas can often take a while to win over a typically sceptical dressing room.

But there was no such issue with new City number two Anton McElhone.

With a decade at Tottenham under his belt, specialising in honing the fitness of England internationals like Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Danny Rose, nobody at his latest club needed convincing.

“It helps when somebody has got that kind of CV,” said defender Paul Caddis.

“You can see he’s got that instant respect. He’s very demanding, he’s on it and seems like a good character.

“He wants everything organised and in place. Everything is there from the first minute we come into the training ground.

“You can tell that he’s been there at the top level.

“It’s just a matter of him coming in and doing what he knows – and what he knows has clearly worked at bigger clubs.”

McElhone’s contract with New England Revolution only finished last Friday but he is already making his mark at Apperley Bridge. The players certainly knew it after two days of hard running earlier in the week.

Fitness has been a pressing issue since David Hopkin took the reins in September – a lingering legacy of that questionable pre-season.

But Caddis has no problem with such gruelling sessions so far into the campaign. He experienced the same with Paolo Di Canio at Swindon.

He laughed: “I was still running in February with him!

“Everybody is different and I don’t think there is a problem with doing a lot of running in December, January or February.

“It keeps you fit and keeps you going, as long as there’s rest at the end of it.

“Fitness levels will be getting sharper and that sees you through to the end of the game.

“I think it’s a massive help for the manager as well now. He can get on and manage and Anton can do all the bits and pieces, the organisation and fitness stuff in the gym.

“Sometimes it’s better as a manager to sit back and oversee training and get a better overview. When you’re right in there, you may not see things that you notice from afar.

“You want that extra couple of per cent out of every person at the club, whether it’s the players, staff or those behind the scenes. Hopefully we can get that and it will help us push on.”

City’s spirits have also been lifted by the late fightback to salvage another crack at Peterborough in the FA Cup. That came as a timely boost ahead of tomorrow’s crunch trip to relegation rivals Plymouth.

Argyle sat bottom of League One this time last year before rallying superbly to just miss out on the play-offs. Caddis admits he did not expect them to be struggling once again.

“I am surprised but, like ourselves, they are down there for a reason.

“But they might take a bit of belief from being in this position before and knowing that they kicked on. That shows what can be done.

“There are 20-odd games left and you’ve got to keep looking after yourself.

“Plymouth went on an unbelievable run last year from this position.

“By no means are we saying that we could make the play-offs but we want to get out of this position and build.

“It helps to have that confidence from our last game. If you do go a goal down, you know you’ve got that character in the locker to come back.”