Manager Ryan Maxwell has clamped down on Sittingbourne’s timekeeping as part of his drive to raise standards.
Maxwell says a lack of punctuality - whether intended or not - was disrespectful to his predecessor Nick Davis and Brickies fans.
He’s moved quickly to stamp it out and the players have responded.
“The timekeeping was terrible,” said Maxwell, with Sittingbourne preparing to host Sevenoaks at Woodstock this Saturday (3pm).
“It shows a lack of respect from the players towards the management and towards the fans.
“Maybe it wasn’t intentional but it was allowed to happen.
“Another thing was players leaving the bar before 6pm and not hanging around to show their appreciation to the fans.
“I was an observer at one game and saw players sauntering in late.
“They didn’t seem in a mad rush to get to the changing room.
“If you’re running to the changing room because you’ve got stuck in traffic or you’ve come from work, that’s one thing.
“But if you’re already late and then you’re sauntering in, that’s definitely not OK. That’s a fine.
“We’re not here to wait on you.
“This is a place of work, not a hobby or a social club, and it has to be treated as a place of work.
“If you’re late to work, you’re reprimanded.
“I’ve not been late for 10 years - it’s the worst thing anyone can be around me. The first thing you can give someone is your time.
“On a positive note, the players have responded very well. They wanted some structure, some direction.
“They wanted to be told what their role is and what the management want from them, and they certainly get that from us.
“We’re also training twice a week and we’ve given the players a style and a structure that is crystal-clear to understand because we keep it simple.”
Maxwell picked up his first win as Brickies manager with goals from Chaynie Burgin and new loan signing Joe Tyrie in a 2-0 victory at VCD on Tuesday last week.
It was the club’s first win in 13 Isthmian South East games - a run stretching back to October.
They remain third-bottom, having been edged 1-0 at promotion-chasing Beckenham on Saturday, but performances are certainly looking up.
“I thought we were slightly the better side on Saturday,” said Maxwell.
“I’d be concerned if we were getting played off the park and losing but I’m very pleased with how things are going and, more importantly, we’re improving on a weekly basis.
“It’s early days but to get four points from three away games - including two of the top three - anyone would have bitten your arm off for that.
“We’ve deserved six points out of the three but you don’t always get what you deserve in football.
“That’s the way football is and that’s why we love it, because there’s always the chance you can upset people.”
Tyrie has made a good impression since joining on a month’s loan from National League South club Tonbridge.
His debut goal at VCD was followed by another strong display at Beckenham.
“He did really well on Saturday,” said Maxwell. “It’s his man who scores but it’s not directly down to him.
“He was the best player on the pitch for us at Beckenham and he was very good at VCD.
“If he continues like that, I’ll be over the moon.
“He’s only 19 and the most important thing at that age is to be playing.
“It’s not the level you’re playing in, it’s the level you’re playing at.
“You’ve got to be exceptional if you’re playing at a lower level than your parent club and be ready to go back and play.
“I pulled him after the game on Saturday and said to him, ‘For me, you can be more commanding’.
“Despite the fact he was our best player, he still gets information and feedback.
“He was dominant in the air and getting there first but I didn’t hear him.
“You nit-pick to help people improve and what I want from him is a more dominant vocal performance because he has the attributes for that.”
Meanwhile, Sittingbourne have signed midfielder Simo Mbonkwi, who played under Maxwell at Braintree. He'll be in the squad to face Sevenoaks.