Attitude can make or break a player
It is an important stage of the season as championships are decided and promotion and relegation issues are resolved.
For most apprentice footballers, it is an equally crucial time as they await decisions regarding their possible promotion to professional contracts.
The harsh reality is that for many these contracts won't be forthcoming and they will be forced to re-evaluate, and seek to progress as a player at another club or another level.
When these young players reflect upon why such a decision has been made, they will undoubtedly pose questions of themselves and perhaps ponder as to whether their attitude was strong enough to warrant the opportunity of joining a first team squad.
I say this because if I think back to my own apprenticeship, one of the reasons why perhaps I did not stay on at Dundee at that time was my mind-set.
I am not saying it was a poor attitude, in fact if pushed I would say it was good.
However, only good in the sense that I carried out my off-field duties well, trained and played in the proper manner and prepared in a disciplined way for games.
At that time I believed that this was sufficient, but as I matured I realised that there were aspects missing from my approach that could have made all the difference.
One was my willingness to push my own boundaries physically. This is interesting because as a footballer you can almost drift along at a certain level of fitness as your day-to-day training will ensure you of a decent base level.
However, to give yourself an advantage you must be prepared to take yourself out of your comfort zone and go through the painful parts of training.
My attitude with respect to this probably didn't change until I was back playing Junior football. I certainly was not a stand-out player at this level when I initially joined the ranks and indeed sometimes found myself warming the bench.
Eventually, I made a determined effort to change this and try to take myself to a better level and initially this change was simply getting a bench press for my bedroom and going road running at nights.
There was nothing scientific or ground-breaking in my new approach but it certainly gave me a much more solid platform from which to try and re-launch my career, and also a new stronger attitude and one that has continued to evolve for the better.
The correct outlook in football is therefore vital, and encompasses so many aspects of the game.
Another area particularly relevant to me at the moment is a player's attitude to injury.
There is no question that players find mid to long-term injury difficult to deal with as the solitude and monotony of rehabilitation is a world away from the excitement of playing.
In that sense players such as my own team-mate Tam Brighton and Jon Daly at Dundee United deserve huge credit for the attitude they have displayed in dealing successfully with such an injury.
While these players are to be admired, what about player's attitudes to less serious injury -does it change from player to player? In my own experience it certainly does as I have played with many who play and train with knocks and strains and others who miss out with the slightest problem.
Perhaps those who fall into the latter category are correct as they are only playing if 100% fit and thus in the optimum physical condition, but, for me, those who are willing to play while in some discomfort are to be lauded.
Throughout a season most players will suffer some forms of injury, and by this stage many will be playing with these niggles. Any visit to a dressing room pre-match would confirm this as players wear strappings, take anti inflammatory tablets and so on.
These players are prepared to play on because their attitude is strong enough, an attitude which has seen them get to the top flight and be successful.
For those young players about to learn their fate, perhaps the following quote from retired American Football coach Lou Holtz is appropriate.
"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."