Mansfield defender Mal Benning says that the attention given to preparation and recovery is key to Stags’ unbeaten run, which currently stretches to 13 games in all competitions.
The wing-back has been a consistent performer in Stags’ recent cluster of fixtures, with Mansfield playing twice a week since late September.
Benning says that the strategies placed on rest and recovery have been ‘vital’ during the busy schedule.
“We’ve only lost two games and it’s been a steady season,” he said. “I’d say we’ve had one too many draws but we’re turning those draws into wins and hopefully we can start climbing up the table.
“As a player you want to play in every game and it’s been a very busy schedule. It’s been tiring but it’s been good to be involved in.
“There’s been a lot of stopovers and afternoon beds, resting and getting right for the game.
“The preparation has been very significant. When you have a busy schedule you need that rest and recovery periods. On a Tuesday night game that recovery time you get in the afternoon beds is very vital.
“We’re keeping more clean sheets which is obviously very good. Up front, we’ve had a lot of chances in games and it’s good that we’re creating them. We’re now finishing a few more than we did and we’re getting the wins.
"The preparation has been very significant. When you have a busy schedule you need that rest and recovery periods. On a Tuesday night game that recovery time you get in the afternoon beds is very vital."
“Since I’ve been here the most we’ve won on the bounce is probably about three. Back-to-back wins and wins on the trot will get you straight up the league so it’s about building on that. I’m sure it will come.”
The defender, who is the longest serving current player at the club, says that the unbeaten run is among the best he has been a part of in amber and blue.
“It’s been one of the best runs I’ve been on, unbeaten-wise, since I’ve been here. We may not have won as many games as we have wanted to, but if we turn those couple of draws into wins, we’ll be right up there.
“It’s still very early [in the season]. I think it’s all about getting that consistency, not getting too carried away and keep working hard.
“I’ve had a consistent run of games and hopefully I can carry on building on them, and get a few more assists and maybe goals.”
Stags welcome Port Vale to One Call Stadium on Saturday, and Benning says he is looking forward to playing in front of the fans once more, in a clash that is the last of four consecutive home matches.
“I’m anticipating a physical battle up front [on Saturday]. From playing them last year at home, they’re not a bad team. It’s going to be tough for us. But if we’re on our job on the day we’ll get the three points.
“It’s great playing at home. When we’re on top, the fans take us through the game. Even when we were trailing against Grimsby, once that equaliser went in, they gave us a really good push to go and get that winner.
“That [positive environment] comes from the form that we’re in. There’s a good feeling around the club at the moment. It’s a good feeling stepping onto the pitch and feeling that you’re not going to get beaten.”
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