Stags’ boss Adam Murray believes last weekend’s break in the schedule came at a good time for everyone associated with the club.
The Stags had a rare weekend off because of our Emirates FA Cup exit to Oldham Athletic last month and Murray believes it was a good opportunity to freshen things up – both physically and mentally.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time really, the weekend without a game, because we’ve been through a bit of a hectic schedule. I think it caught up with us at the back end of the Exeter game and we had it in our minds that we wanted to get through Barnet and then we had the free weekend to balance the rest and recovery out,” said Murray.
“We put the work in on the training ground and I think [playing] Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday was a shock to the system. We lacked time on the training ground.
"[The break] was needed in every aspect, the boys have worked well and they needed it to get some energy back in their systems and get on the training ground again," Murray continued.
“I think the little break has done us all good, we’re all mentally and physically fresh, we’ve got a real drive and focus about Saturday – we want to kick on again now.”
With Saturday’s fixture against Leyton Orient the first of a run of five games over the Christmas period, Murray is aiming to topple ‘one of the big clubs in Sky Bet League Two.
“We want to beat one of the big boys now. We’re picking up some good results against a lot of teams and we’re not used to losing football matches this season, but what we want to do now is cement ourselves in that top seven.
“To do that, you have to beat the teams in and around you. I think Leyton Orient will end up in the top three or four this season, you look at the squad and the resources they’ve got, it’s going to be a tough challenge for us."
With the Stags sitting in the play-off positions with just under half of the season elapsed, Murray wants his side to improve their home form heading into the second period of the campaign.
“For me, we haven’t really kicked on at home yet – if you look at our away form, it’s top drawer. What we need to do now is get our home form to that standard, and if we do that then we’ll be right up there.
“We’re confident we can do that and start making this (One Call Stadium) a place where people fear coming.”
To listen to Adam Murray's news conference in full, go to Stags Player.