Stags' boss David Flitcroft has said he is looking to build team spirit through hard work during Mansfield's week of intensive training in Portugal.
Stags are set to take part in their third day of training today, and Flitcroft is not only impressed by the Mansfield squad's work ethic, but the facilities on offer in the Algarve.
“It’s important you get the balance right. We’ve come to a venue that’s out in the sticks with not much around it," said the manager.
“When you walk in you feel as though it’s a professional environment, an elite environment.
“You’ve got everything [here in Portugal] and that’s the key. The work you can get in and the work you can condense is quite phenomenal.
“We don’t have any travelling time to go from your location to the training venue. Sometimes [back home] in traffic it can take an hour-and-a-half.
“The weather is hot - I know it’s hot at home too - but we’re getting the lads up early in the morning and the last session is six o’clock at night so we’re condensing a lot of work in
“I’m absolutely delighted with the work ethic and the camaraderie. When the work is hard, that’s when you grow a team spirit.
“When you dig in and feel that your body isn’t gonna get there, but someone else gets you through it, that’s what a training camp gives you.
“We did a session on the running track on Saturday and I saw it really start there where players were digging in. What I love in a team sport is when you know you’re superior, you almost get other players through it.
“You have to get your base work in, and that’s what we did last week over at One Call Stadium, and we’ve continued that this week.
"When you dig in and feel that your body isn’t gonna get there, but someone else gets you through it, that’s what a training camp gives you."
“The next two days are the toughest they’ll do over the six-week programme. We’ve made no secret of that.
“Between 45 and 60 minutes the players will get [against Dundee]. We’re doing it as a training game. It will be great to see where we are.”
The Stags' boss also spoke of former Bury captain Nathan Cameron, who has gone to Portugal to train with the first team this week.
“Cam [Nathan Cameron] was the skipper when we got promoted with Bury. He led it fantastically well.
“He’s a great captain, leader and communicator, on and off the pitch. He’s someone that wanted to come out with us and knew what our camps were about.
“He’ll certainly add value to the camp and we have to see how he progresses. He had an injury problem last season and we have to make sure that, with our staff, that they all know the dynamics of the camp and what he can and can’t do.
“We have to see if we’re good enough to build a training programme to support that injury that he’s had.
“We’re looking at him in massive detail, every session he does, the measurements and seeing where everything is.
“Having worked with him before, I know what he is as a character. I know what type of lad he is. The camp has been better for having Nathan Cameron in it.
“I think we’ve left it [possible deal with Cameron] open-ended. I know his agent really well.
“He sees what we’re doing here and, with the club’s support, an opportunity that we can get Cameron playing lots of games for us next season.
“I’m very thorough in my work so we have to be monitoring him. It’s brilliant that the staff can have a one-to-one with him."
Flitcroft also confirmed that Will Atkinson has also been taken off the transfer list, meanwhile Giles Coke, who took part in some training sessions with the Stags, has moved elsewhere.
“Giles [Coke] is someone I’ve admired for a long time as a person and a player. He got a call from another League Two club that were in a position to do something with him.
“Me and Giles had a chat and I think that it was the right thing to do [to let him go]. He had an opportunity to go and earn money for his family and I think that coincided with me having a chat with Will Atkinson and taking him off the transfer list.
“We had a chat at the end of the season, me and Will, and you just never know in football.
“I said to Will at the end of the season, if there’s something out there for you that you feel is for you, then we’ll have a look at it together.
“I left the door open all the time. We had a fantastic chat, very open and very honest. He wants to be in this environment and knows he’ll thrive in the environment. He certainly wants to stay and I want to keep him. He’s a great pro.
“It was like almost signing a new player really.”
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