Stags star Alex MacDonald says he's worked hard to regain full fitness after being labelled a 'wee fat boy' by boss Steve Evans when he arrived at the One Call Stadium.
The attacking midfielder admits he wasn't in best shape when he signed for Mansfield, using the light-hearted jibe from Evans as inspiration to get fit.
And it worked, with MacDonald now a star performer for the in-form Stags.
He said: "I feel good and fit, and am in a new role in the team which I’m really enjoying and long may the form continue.
“When I first came the gaffer was probably quite accurate in the ‘wee fat boy’ comment, but I worked hard on it and feel back to my best now and a lot sharper. Fans don’t often see what difference things like body fat can make but it’s a big thing, especially in the modern day game, and now mine’s come down the performances are starting to show.
“I did a lot of extra work in the gym and also got a bike for home that I had to use twice a day for a long period of time. The diet side of things is a big thing too, and although it wasn’t like I was eating kebabs every night or anything like that, I just needed to tweak what I was eating a bit and know when the time was right to enjoy myself.
“I especially had to concentrate on it over the summer. Rather than being in Marbella for two weeks drinking and doing what I wanted, I was at home, on the bike most days and looking after myself and enjoying a family holiday.
“It’s all about aiding the fitness. When you don’t look after yourself as I have done, you get to the 60/70/80 minute mark and you start feeling like you can’t make that burst forward or you’re tired when you’re on the ball, so it’s now at the point where in the latter stages I’m feeling at my strongest compared to how I was.”