The Northern Irishman has inspired a revival at the bet365 Stadium since being appointed manager in November, leading the Potters out of the relegation zone in the Championship and putting them on course for survival.
And he says the starting point was trying to alter the mindset of the players from day one, just like he did successfully as Northern Ireland manager.
“We sat the players down and told them the club was in that position because of results and they have an accountability for that,” he told the Daily Mail.
“We didn’t hide behind that. Regardless of who the manager had been, the mentality to win games had not been strong enough in the dressing room for a long time.
“Northern Ireland was a hopeless case when I went in. It was hard to change mindsets and create some expectation. I managed that and we had some great times.”