Former players and pundits have lined up to praise Andy Murray for appointing Ivan Lendl as his new coach, regarding the move as a potential masterstroke that could fill the missing piece in the Briton's grand slam jigsaw.
Murray, however, poured cold water on the idea that the eight-times grand slam champion's insight might inspire him to a maiden title at the Australian Open.
"Normally when a new coach comes into football, the team is normally struggling," the 24-year-old Scot said on Saturday, shooting down a reporter's soccer analogy.
"I was feeling good at the end of last year. But like I say, I'm not going to get the benefits from having Ivan this week.
"I'm going to see it in six months, 12 months' time, when all the things we work on start falling into place.
"I mean, it's obviously good to have someone with his experience around the slams and these situations. But in terms of the actual improvements in my game, it's going to take a little bit longer than a week to make changes."
Murray announced Czech-born Lendl's appointment before the new year after flying solo for most of the season following his split with coaching consultant Spaniard Alex Corretja, who he employed on ad hoc basis since 2008.
Darren Cahill provided some advice from a distance but Lendl has indicated he will be a fixture in the player's box, which famously became the target of Murray's frustrations during his straight sets loss to Novak Djokovic in last year's final.
While the full benefit of having Lendl in "Team Murray" would come long-term, the player said the pair, who share a common bond of multiple lost grand slams early in their careers, had hit it off from the start.
"After speaking with him, meeting him a couple times, (I) spent a day on the court with him. It was pretty obvious that was the guy I wanted to work with, and that was it," Murray said.
"He's obviously had a great attitude towards trying to improve," added the Scot.
"He tried many new things and he was always in great shape. He's definitely going to help with that side of things as well.
"I really enjoy being around him. He's been good fun, good sense of humour. As you probably expect, he has a lot of great stories to tell.
"When we get the work done, he leaves, does his own thing. Yeah, we've got on well so far. Hopefully that continues."
Murray, who made the semi-finals at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open last year in a successful but ultimately frustrating season, tweaked his preparations for Melbourne by eschewing the Hopman Cup in Perth to play in the Brisbane International for the first time.
He improved throughout that tournament to thrash injured Ukrainian finalist Alexandr Dolgopolov. But the Scot played down his lead-up and remains wary of false dawns.
"I prepare well for all of them," he said.
"But I prepared perfectly for the last few Australian Opens.
"I've trained very hard in December and got over to Australia nice and early and played well because of that. Hopefully this year will be the same."
ReutersTags: australian-open, tennis, sport, melbourne-3000, vic, australia First posted January 16, 2012 10:04:50