Andy Friend says he could not comprehend the attitude of his players who prepared best for interpro games, when he joined the club last summer.
The Australian was appointed head coach in May 2018 and expressed his bemusement by players who appeared to be most motivated for games against the other Irish provinces.
Friend was speaking at Off The Ball's Heineken Rugby Club Roadshow in the Galmont Hotel in Galway and discussed his takeaways from his first year of managing Connacht.
"I call it the interpro phenomenon which is if this week is Ulster, Munster or Leinster, we are up for that. And I'm like why does that change? You still put on the same jersey? But it was a really big thing," Friend told the Connacht crowd.
"We lost a few games last year and you'd say, 'how was your preparation?' And they'd say, 'ah yeah, alright'. 'But was it the best?' 'It wasn't as good as if it were Leinster.'
"That's just so foreign in my brain. Like, how is that any different? If we are meant to beat a team by 30 points, let's beat them by 30 points. If we're meant to battle with a Leinster, let's battle with a Leinster but let's go onto that field and say we are going to win this game."
Talking about what characteristics he has tried to implement most at Connacht, Friend emphasised the value he places on belief.
"I honestly believe we'll win every game of football. I honestly believe that - maybe that's my warped sense of competitiveness but until that last whistle, if we are still battling there I think we will win it.
"For me, belief is everything it doesn't matter who we are playing. Pull on that jersey and we are going to win it."
"Belief. Ambition. Community. A lot of people have those words on walls but you could feel it..."
Connacht boss Andy Friend talked about his first impressions of the province during our recent #OTBHRC roadshow in Galway | @heineken_ie
Full Connacht chat: https://t.co/X8yTC01xCZ pic.twitter.com/OaK9Rn9Rxy
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) December 14, 2019