Mansfield Town newcomer Neil Bishop believes this week’s training camp in Portugal has been the perfect way to build a promotion-winning mentality.
The Stags have been put through their paces in some torturous sessions and the experienced Bishop said the way players had helped each through it was sowing the seeds of the team spirit needed for glory.
He said: “It’s going to be 46 hard League games, but we want promotion – let’s not shy away from that – and we are building that mentality every day. We are here to win.
“I am really enjoying it here. The days are tough, but it’s not as if the gaffer is asking us to do anything we can’t do. It’s tough but fair and we are all relishing it.
“You are in football for challenges – and this certainly is a challenge, especially with the sun. You’re doing two, three, four sessions a day.
“The lads are dragging each other through and it helps create that environment, that winning mentality, that desire to want to work, to want to run and want to win.
“The lads have all worked immensely hard for the last two weeks. I can’t speak highly enough of the effort they’ve put in.”
Bishop said the team spirit had also extended top some of the club’s youngsters who had joined in with the first team work.
“The squad is really good,” he said. “There are some really talented players, lads with real ability.
“We’ve also had some young lads with us this week and they’ve stepped up to the plate. What an experience it’s been for them.
“It’s been a real learning curve for them and it’s been up to the experienced lads like myself to drag them through, to help and encourage and build that team mentality.”
He added: “I have settled in well. The lads have all been brilliant – it’s a good group.
“Coming away to a place like this helps as you are in each other’s company 24 hours a day.”