Facing a blank weekend, Mansfield Town’s players were kept match-fit with a 1-1 behind-closed-doors friendly draw at Birmingham City on Saturday.
“Gary Monk and Birmingham played some top quality players, some real senior pros, so it was a great test for us, said boss David Flitcroft after a game in which Mal Benning netted for the Stags.
“Our application was fantastic and it was a really good exercise.
“It was to keep the players in the rhythm of work and allowed us to get a good tactical training session under our belts on Friday which we put into practice on the Saturday with some of the things we potentially wanted to work on for the Swindon game.
“It gave players good game minutes and kept them in that Saturday/Saturday or Saturday/Tuesday routine.
“That was key to players who needed minutes – it gave us a chance to get 90 minutes under Gibbo’s (young defender Lewis Gibbens) belt.
“It was a fantastic part of Gibbo’s learning experience playing against Omar Bogle – much better than putting on a training session against players that he knows.
“The attitude and application of Birmingham’s second string and fringe players put in was phenomenal and we had to match and combat that.”