St Mirren were "all over the place" as they tried to bed in a flurry of mid-season foreign signings, says skipper Stephen McGinn.
Manager Oran Kearney added 12 players, eight different nationalities, in the January window.
And McGinn admits it's been a steep learning curve as the club fight for Scottish Premiership survival.
"We were thrown together and it has taken time," McGinn told BBC Scotland Sportsound.
With five games to go St Mirren occupy the relegation play-off spot, three points above Dundee and four behind Hamilton.
"Of course it was difficult to gel. Some of them can't speak English," McGinn added. "In the cup game with Alloa for about 30 minutes we were all over the place. Information from behind, the side, wasn't clear.
"We have a centre-half who has now picked up the shouts and you can notice a heavy difference from when he first came in and was shouting in Romanian. They've started to pick up the game and different mentalities over here as opposed to steaming in and expecting to not give away a foul.
"Our turning point came when we went to Tynecastle and Pittodrie and had two good draws and could have won. The mood in the dressing room completely turned with those two results."
St Mirren are away to Livingston on Saturday in their first post-split fixture. But McGinn, 30, says the relegation battle has made the Paisley club's return to the top flight an ordeal.
"None of the games are enjoyable," he said. "Even if you're 1-0 up and cruising, you're still not playing free flowing because you think 'Should we shut up shop?'
"Following on from a season where we won 23 games, it's really hard to get used to losing every week. The best bit about your weekend is the two teams around you have lost. It's not nice."