Mansfield Town players enjoyed a bonding day out yesterday with an afternoon go-karting competition.
Boss David Flitcroft felt it was an ideal time to give his in-form players a break from the physical and mental rigours of training and help integrate the newer faces.
Flitcroft said the idea stemmed from the lower performance statistics his players returned in last weekend’s win and the aches and pains of having to train on 3G while the new training ground grass pitches are created.
He said: “There were quite a few reasons. Our figures on Saturday were down a little bit and we looked into it.
“I think the pitch down at Forest Green and the travel went into Wednesday with the motorway shut down.
“We felt a though we probably didn’t get enough quality work into them on Thursday and Friday and we looked a bit lethargic at times on Saturday.
“Instead of doing more you sometimes have to do less to make sure they are fresh. This team is fit. The most consistent players have played most games.
“So I thought it was important at this time of the season when some players have left us and we’ve gained three or four.
“I felt we needed an integration day to get them together.
“So we went go-karting. It was still competitive – there was a £50 prize for the winner. Then we had something to eat.”
Flitcroft wanted to give his players a break from training on a 3G surface.
“They did a session first at the DW gym yesterday,” he said.
“It just took away from the training ground. I think the past two weeks not being able to get on the grass has hampered things.
“We have four or five lads that have started to get some aches and pains in the joints. We are basing ourself at the training ground and there are other benefits to it.
“The lads have a players’ lounge and they get there early in the morning and there is a real togetherness.
“But we need to be on those grass pitches and the chairman and Carolyn (Radford) are doing everything they can to do that. We might have to get on the grass for a couple of days and go to the One Call and try to mix it up a bit.
“We feel today was the right time to get some good bonding in and make sure the new players are in a competitive environment but maybe with a different stimulus.”
Top scorer Tyler Walker eventually emerged the champion on the day.