Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft believes making Neal Bishop have some extra time off last week has revitalised his veteran midfield dynamo.
Bishop was reluctant to take an extra day off that was offered to him as Flitcroft felt he looked tired.
But Bishop admitted it had worked wonders and he turned in a fantastically energetic display in Monday’s 11- home draw with leaders Lincoln.
“Bish had a few days off last week,” said Flitcroft. “We had a chat. He doesn’t like missing training.
“I was a really honest player myself and I loved training. But managers have taken me out of training at times.
“I had to do that last week with Bish to give him some mental stimulation and get him away.
“He came back and was refreshed. You could see it in his performance – he was brilliant.
“He came back in bouncing and gave the performance of a 24/25-year-old in terms of the stats he got and his distance covered and running.
“He is Mr Consistent and loves to drive it from the centre of the pitch, which is always important, and the fans love him for it.”
Bishop said: “We had a chat after the Port Vale game and the manager said take an extra day off.
“I didn’t want to as I have always cracked on, but I will probably thank him for it come the end of the season.
“The staff have a lot of physical data here to analyse and the gaffer can see you’re not quite at it on the training ground.
“He told me to shut down and do nothing and I came back in and it had helped, probably mentally more than physically. I have played a lot of games and trained every day.
“Maybe you don’t notice it but other people do and I think the gaffer is really good at that.”
He added: “I came back feeling really refreshed and when you are not here you wish you were here.
“It was important I reset myself as there are eight cup finals to come. It’s now eyes down for that final run-in.”